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What are Bowen’s greenways? Why do they matter?

'By planning for greenways, our work supports naturally productive ecosystems, biodiversity, and a vibrant community'
Martin Pykalo DJI_0077-Pano (002)

What are greenways? Greenways are networks of green space in a sustainable community. They can be thought of as linear green corridors that connect natural areas and are managed to help retain ecological functioning, wildlife corridors, and recreational attributes.

Greenways can consist of both public and private lands. Public lands like traditional parks, along with other public green spaces, form a major component of greenways on Bowen Island. Think of Bowen’s municipal parks and Metro Vancouver’s Crippen Regional Park as well as lands managed by BC Parks (Apodaca Park; Ecological Reserve #48) and Crown lands (Mount Gardner; Collins Ridge, Radar Hill, etc.). 

However, private lands and how we manage them are also an important aspect of Bowen’s greenways. For example, riparian corridors (both coastal and stream/lake) and wetlands are critical aspects of managing the function of our watersheds and are mostly on private lands. Bowen’s shorelines are a major greenway that are enjoyed for their scenic and ecological values. 

Sustaining greenways helps link ecosystems to local land use planning. The PTGAC works to support implementation of the Bowen Island Parks plan (2018) recognizing that by planning for greenways, our work supports naturally productive ecosystems, biodiversity, and a vibrant community. For example, by identifying gaps in linkages between trails, BIM can communicate and collaborate with private landowners for acquisition of rights of ways or other agreements to both create public access and maintain greenways. In our municipal parks, we work to create awareness, sharing and stewardship of natural assets through educational signage, programs, and park improvements. 

Greenways are networks of green space that create linkages for nature and community. The Parks Plan and the work of the PTGAC helps to keep Bowen green for todays and future generations and greenways are a critical component of that work. 

As part of Bowen Island Municipality’s Parks, Trails and Greenways Committee’s (PTGAC) mandate and in keeping with the Bowen Island Parks Plan Goal #5: Bowen Island’s Natural Capital is protected for current and future generations, this article explores the concept and application of greenways on Bowen Island.