According to the inaugural Canadian City Parks Report by national non-profit group Park People, Delta punches above its weight at getting locals involved in parks, measuring third overall in the country with 21 volunteers per 1000 people. (City of Delta photo)

National survey of city parks highlights Delta’s volunteers, programs

Delta has the third most volunteers per capita of the 23 cities that participated in the study

By Tricia Weel for the North Delta Reporter

Parks are synonymous with so many things — usually fun, fitness and activities for all ages.

While residents use Delta’s many parks and recreational facilities on a daily basis, they likely don’t think about the city’s operating budget or parks maintenance or how the community might compare to cities across the country with trends, challenges and opportunities.

That’s why Jake Tobin Garrett, policy and planning manager for Park People, says his non-profit organization decided to do The Canadian City Parks Report.

“We’ve been doing research into different aspects of parks for five years now and it’s hard to find information — best practices, what are Canadian cities doing with their parks, etc.,” Tobin said.

“We knew there was a lot of growth and a lot of exciting things happening, but there was no central report, no venue, no real information sharing – nowhere to find that information.”

The non-profit organization invited 60 cities of all sizes to participate in its inaugural parks report, and Tobin was happy that 23 of those responded, including Delta.

“We thought maybe 10 cities would respond,” he said.

Overall, Delta does well with its parks and that shows in the report, Tobin said.

“I think Delta is doing really well with engaging with volunteers in its parks — with its percentage of volunteers [compared to population], Delta comes up third,” he noted.

RELATED: Volunteers plant over 100 native shrubs and ferns in North Delta’s Cougar Canyon

Delta had one of the only Adopt-A-Rain-Garden programs, Tobin said, an initiative started in 2006 with the local streamkeepers and Delta engineers working to design, install and maintain rain gardens in Delta’s elementary schools.

“Community members can ‘adopt’ a rain garden and help maintain green infrastructure that helps mitigate any effects of climate change,” Tobin said.

SEE ALSO: Rain gardens help keep North Delta’s streams flowing

The report also highlighted a few other Delta programs, including the city’s Birds and Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, Delta’s Invasive Species Management Strategy, the city’s community grant program and its Social Action Plan.

RELATED: Small grants available for neighbourhood projects in Delta

Ken Kuntz, Delta’s director of parks, recreation and culture, said the report is a good start.

“Before this report, there was a huge absence of comparators, especially in regards to Canadian cities of about the same size,” Kuntz said.

“We’ve always had our neighbours to the south but it’s great to have that data on the Canadian side of things.”

Kuntz gave kudos to the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers as well as the many other community organizations and residents of all ages who volunteer to help keep Delta’s parks beautiful.

“Our volunteerism is spectacular – they really take ownership of the projects they commit to,” Kuntz said.

He noted the city council’s unanimous decision earlier this year to give free admission to 10-to-18-year-old Delta residents at all of Delta’s recreational facilities, as well as the fact that Delta’s tree canopy/tree cover is growing, not shrinking.

RELATED: Delta to offer free rec centre admission to local youth

SEE ALSO: City announces launch of new Delta Families First programs

Because of its geographic location and size, Delta is a relatively non-growth city, Kuntz said, and doesn’t face some of the growth-related challenges that other cities might.

“Our studies are really more about how do we make better use of what we have,” he said.

“But it’s a great start, a good compilation of good news stories about what cities across Canada are doing with their parks, including Delta.”

The full Canadian City Parks Report can be found at cityparksreport.parkpeople.ca.

SEE ALSO: Delta ranked 59th best place in Canada to live



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read