Parkland in Harrison seems possible

Chances of regional park in Harrison’s east sector increasing

One of the most common requests from tourists is for locations for well-maintained hiking trails. If the FVRD elects to manage the east sector lands as a park

One of the most common requests from tourists is for locations for well-maintained hiking trails. If the FVRD elects to manage the east sector lands as a park

A round of applause filled Monday night’s council meeting, following an announcement that the east sector land is getting closer to becoming a designated park.

“Nothing is signed, nothing is definite,” Mayor Leo Facio said, after reading from a presentation made at the UBCM conference earlier this year. “But it’s a foot in the door and and a sign that things are happening.”

The east sector is a parcel of just over 92 ha which has been the subject of discussion for decades.

In 1998, the Green Legacy Society wrote an in-depth report of the lands history and future, and has been pushing for the area to become a park akin to the Cheam Wetlands — complete with proper parking, maintenance, signage, washroom and other amenities that would encourage use.

Many members of the society were in the audience on Monday night, and cheered when Facio announced that the ministry of forests, lands and natural resources has proposed the area as a recreation site. The hope is that the Fraser Valley Regional District will move ahead with turning the east sector into a fully functioning park. Facio said the plan hasn’t come out of the blue, but rather has been in the works in camera over the last year.

A Crown Land Referral has been made by the ministry of forests, and that went to the District of Kent in February for approval, as  Harrison dissects the district. If FVRD becomes the manager of the park, it would mean the maintenance of amenities would fall under FVRD’s budget, Facio said.

“This is what we presented to the minister at the UBCM,” he said. “The potential is terrific.”

Having a regional park would likely mean more tourism traffic, as people flock to affordable outdoor recreation. One of the top requests from visitors who drop in at Tourism Harrison is for hiking spots. To be able to deliver that to the public is invaluable, he said.

Turning the east sector lands into a park is beyond the capability of the municipality. The trails are currently needing repair, and there are no washroom or parking facilities.

“We don’t have the resources,” Facio said.

But they do have the land, and that could be attractive to the regional district, which is currently working on the Experience the Fraser project. ETF is a long-term plan to connect community to community along the Fraser River. Harrison is included in that plan, with Harrison River as a Fraser tributary.

With the increases in development in green areas, Facio said having the ministry recognize the importance of the east sector is significant.

“It’s an important piece of land,” Facio said, which is heavily stated in the land referral.

“The site will provide added value to the general population for many years towards accessing and enjoying recreational activities on Crown land,” the referral reads. “The Recreation Sites and Trails BC Branch of the ministry feel this is a strong need to have this site established as this will give the ministry the ability to manage this resource by entering into partnership agreements, thus providing liability insurance, enforcing rules and standards and also also allowing provincial resources to be applied to individual sites on maintenance project.”

Other areas managed by the FVRD include Island 22 Bike Park, Cascade Falls, Dewdney Nature, Cheam Lake Wetlands, Neilson, Sumas Mountain, Thacker, Thompson and the Cheam Ridge trail.

Just Posted

(Adam Louis/Observer)
PHOTOS: Students leap into action in track events at Kent Elementary

At Kent Elementary, when the sun’s outside, the fun’s outside. The intermediate… Continue reading

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read