An artist's rendering of one of the new Garden City Lands walking trails - perspective view from Alderbridge Way and No. 4 Road. PWL Partnership

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Garden City Lands trails may open this summer

Richmond News
Published May 9, 2017

The Garden City Lands park may very soon, partially, open up to the public.

Construction work has been continuing apace this spring on the 52-hectare (136 acre) park’s perimeter pedestrian and bike trails.

And with the majority of the 2.9-kilometre, twinned trail expected to be completed by the middle of the summer, the public could be invited to sample the new-look lands before Labour Day.

According to a report which went before city council on Monday night, the inaugural Harvest Festival is also being planned for the park on Saturday, Sept. 30, which will celebrate Richmond’s agricultural heritage and is expected to attract around 10,000 people.

Other early public programs for the $6.4 million GCL (Garden City Lands) park development plan include: Site interpretation; community gardening; food production workshops and fitness and wellness activities (walking clubs, tai chi, yoga).

The GCL cost the City of Richmond close to $60 million to purchase in 2010 after a long, drawn-out process with the federal government and the Musqeaum First Nation, which held partial rights over the area.

Work on most of the site has been mainly limited to the spring and summer months, leaving only the edges accessible for construction, according to the report’s author, Jamie Esko, the city’s manager of parks planning.

The trails being finished off are reported to be suitable for all pedestrians and wheeled devices, including mobility aids.

However, when the public is welcomed onto the lands later this year, much of it will still be restricted due to the land still being a conservation area.

Beginning in the fall, the city will start to plant more than 1,300 trees, compromising of mostly native conifer and deciduous species, as well as some fruit-bearing trees, which could be part of a proposed orchard.

Last year, the city kicked off the multi-million dollar park design that, in part, aims to preserve the natural bog by way of ecosystem engineering.

Garden City Lands trails may open this summer