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What ‘special places’ should we next preserve on Bowen Island?

'As our numbers grow, the Bowen we currently know will inevitably and significantly change, as will the demands upon the use of its hinterland'

Over the years, the Parks, Trails and Greenways Advisory Committee (PTGAC), in conjunction with municipal staff, has developed a series of forward-looking considerations to better envision and ultimately ensure in perpetuity, an enriching and coherent natural environment on Bowen Island. 

One of these initiatives concerns the identification of “special places” and (where deemed practical and necessary) to encourage their potential acquisition by the municipality – or other administrative body – either as park, preserve, or under other protected status. Fairy Fen is a successful example. [Editor’s note: The Bowen Island Conservancy-managed, Islands Trust Conservancy-owned nature preserve was created in 2010 after consultation with the Bowen community.]

A “special place” is broadly defined as any area considered to be of particular aesthetic, environmental or recreational significance. The identification of these unique locales and promoting their importance is an ongoing process. Intent on avoiding the far too familiar outcome of not knowing what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, Bowen Island’s Parks Plan describes the aspiration of parkland acquisition and areas of interest in more detail (pages 47 through 50).

One of the extraordinary things about our generous Crown lands is the seemingly endless ability to discover areas that are rarely, if ever, visited and it’s often there that unique island gems are revealed. Sections of the northern slopes of Mount Collins and the watershed of Lee Creek are just two examples of areas with remarkable samples of untouched forest that are easily imagined as candidates for parks or other conservation designation.

The constraints of the pandemic and dramatic increase in island trail use have emphasized the importance of Bowen’s wildlands in the appreciation and well-being of everyone desperate for a calming reprieve in the lap of nature. As our numbers grow, the Bowen we currently know will inevitably and significantly change, as will the demands upon the use of its hinterland. It’s therefore incumbent upon us to recognize, mobilize and protect the rich natural fabric that distinguishes our island and long before it’s lost to the careless sweep of time. 

What are your special places? Please let the Parks, Trails and Greenways Advisory Committee know PTGAC@bimbc.ca.

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