Camping may be available on Bowen Island if Metro Vancouver proposal goes through

A Lower Mainland destination that doesn’t currently have any campsites may welcome campers in the coming years if Metro Vancouver’s proposal goes through.

Metro Vancouver announced Wednesday it plans to buy 24 parcels of land on Bowen Island to preserve forested and waterfront areas in Cape Roger Curtis. The 97-hectare lot would cost about $40 million.

“Regional parks safeguard natural areas that are home to important ecosystems and contribute to the health and well-being of our residents by connecting them with natural spaces,” said Sav Dhaliwal, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors, in a news release.

“Expanding the regional parks system is a board priority and supports climate action and regional growth targets.”

Early plans for the park are for it to include day-use picnic areas, trails, beach access and an overnight camping area. The campground could include 50 walk-in sites, 35 drive-in sites and 10 tent cabins. Recreational vehicle and trailer camping won’t be permitted, however.

If the purchase goes through, planning and design are expected to continue into 2023.

Metro Vancouver said it’s working with the Squamish Nation on developing plans for the new park.

“This regional park will make it easier for current and future generations to enjoy nature and help to preserve the coastal ecosystem, which Squamish Nation has stewarded since time immemorial,” said Sxwíxwtn, Skwxwú7mesh úxwumixw/Squamish Nation spokesperson and councillor, in a statement.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Metro Vancouver and Bowen Island Municipality to see how we can incorporate our language and culture in the park planning process.”

Metro Vancouver has applied with the Bowen Island Municipality for rezoning of properties from rural residential to park and has requested a change to the Official Community Plan.

“This new regional park initiative is incredible news, not just for Bowen Island, but for the entire region,” said Bowen Island Mayor Gary Ander in a statement.

“Cape Roger Curtis holds some of the most unique ecological characteristics in the region — and this park enhances local efforts by the Bowen Island Conservancy and many islanders to protect the area. It will provide excellent recreational and educational opportunities for island and regional residents alike for years to come.”

Bowen Island is about a 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver. 

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