Manfred’s Meadow in Everett Crowley Park rests at a height above the north shore of the Fraser River that affords a panoramic view back to towards the river through some maturing trees and a vast number of more recently planted trees (including many new trees being planted as part of the Canada 150 celebration). On April 22, 2017 during the park’s Earth Day celebration, Wild About Vancouver week was proclaimed by Park Board Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon. This marks the beginning of the Wild About Vancouver (WAV) outdoor education festival. During WAV, many outdoor events and lessons are taking place throughout the GVRD to celebrate the importance of time spent outdoors.
The Everett Crowley Park Committee, Champlain Heights Community Centre, the Vancouver Park Board and various other partners created a very well attended Earth Day festival in and around Manfred’s Meadow. There were over 20 events offered by 20 different community-based partners participating in the festival, and there were a lot of people out.
Everett Crowley Park is a great place to explore in Vancouver. It is a park that is coming into itself (only declared a park in 1987) after a period as “Vancouver’s main landfill (the Kerr Road dump) from 1944 to 1967” (ECPS). Based on my experience at the 2017 Earth Day Festival, it is clear that there is much community passion for Everett Crowley Park and also many opportunities to get involved in how the park develops. As Vancouver continues to urbanize, Vancouver parks will serve as accessible nature places. With Everett Crowley’s stated aim to remain a “wilderness” park, and with the number of trees being planted, it will not be too long before a mature forest lives at Everett Crowley. Just imagine the forest bathing opportunities.
A clear and strong message from the event was around the importance of planting trees, all of us, regularly, everywhere. For relationships between trees and humans to develop, we need to be around each other more often. Plant a tree!