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)

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

A woman walks past a long lineup that snaked through the parking lot at the Cloverdale Rec. Centre April 27 after Fraser Health allowed people age 30 and over from “high-transmission neighbourhoods” to access the AstraZeneca shot. The temporary vaccination centre is located on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale now considered a ‘high-transmission area’

Anyone 30 and over can now register for a vaccine

teaser
Top-10 ‘Maxim’ magazine contest model got her start in Surrey

Kajal Kumar hopes to earn $25K cash prize and a cover photo shoot

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on B.C. highways – checkpoint at Manning Park

Four checkpoints are set up Thursday, May 6 around the province

Semiahmoo Rotary Club has announced the winners of its 2021 Service Above Self Surrey Youth (SASSY) Awards. (Contributed image/screenshot)
Surrey/White Rock SASSY Award winners announced

Six youth receive $1,500 for ‘service above self,’ including $500 for charity

South Surrey nurse Brittany Williams has been involved with the Burn Camp since 2013. (Contributed photo)
Burn camp ‘really puts things in perspective,’ says South Surrey nurse

Brittany Williams’ experiences hoped to boost Hometown Heroes Lottery fundraiser

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Junior A team Coquitlam Express is offering all Tri-City residents who get vaccinated against COVID-19 a free ticket to one of their games. (Facebook/Coquitlam Express)
B.C. hockey team offering free tickets to hometown fans who get the COVID-19 vaccine

‘We know the only way to get fans back is people getting vaccinated,’ says Express’ general manager Tali Campbell

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s latest COVID-19 restrictions cost thousands of service jobs

Part-time workers set back again by spike in virus spread

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

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Rex, an elderly golden Labrador retriever, is surrounded by his rescuers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Special to The News)
VIDEO: Dog survives plunge over Gold Creek Lower Falls in Maple Ridge

Fire chief asks for visitors to be more cautious in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

Most Read