Parks Canada wants to expand its network of national parks across the country and Colwood has made the list of potential locations.
According to Parks Canada, nearly 72% of Canadians live in urban centres. This means wildlife and nature may not be easily accessible to them in their everyday lives.
According to Parks Canada, $130 million dollars in funding for the creation of urban parks will come from the $2.3 billion Canada’s Nature Legacy fund, which was announced in the 2021 federal budget.
Not only does introducing these parks have positive impacts on humans, nature-based climate solutions can provide up to 30 percent of global climate solutions.
Some examples of nature-based climate solutions are planting trees, protecting and restoring wetlands and grasslands and other carbon pools.
Earlier this month, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, launched the new program to support the creation and expansion of this park network.
Since the announcement, Parks Canada has already signed a statement of collaboration with one authority, exploring the possible creation of one of these national urban parks in the Meewasin Valley in Saskatchewan.
Parks Canada is currently working to identify other areas for potential urban park sites across the country. Signed statements of collaboration have been signed with the municipalities of Winnipeg, Halifax and Windsor.
Discussions surrounding other areas of interest are also in the works, including our very own Colwood!
It is believed the new national urban park will be rolled into lands next to Fort Rodd Hill.
Canada has 48 national parks, with only one set in an urban environment in Toronto, which was formed in 2011 and is known as Rouge National Urban Park.