The scope of study for the review focused on four key topics, including:
- The purpose of the Regional Parks Service
- The service area, which at the time of the review extended beyond Metro Vancouver’s boundaries to include the City of Abbotsford
- Parkland acquisition and development
- The service operating model
The review was overseen, and our work was guided, by the Service Review Steering Committee. This Committee was comprised of three Metro Vancouver Board Directors, three members of Metro Vancouver Administration, and three Chief Administrative Officers from member municipalities. Stakeholder consultation was a key feature of the review process. Seven participant workshops — one per sub-region in Metro Vancouver — were held to obtain input from participant jurisdictions. An eighth workshop was held with representatives of the eight Regional Park Associations, Pacific Parklands Foundation and Catch the Spirit Youth Society.
We made 21 separate recommendations, all of which were endorsed by the Board. Key recommendations resulted in:
- A confirmation of the Regional Parks Service as a function that exists both to protect the region’s important natural areas, and to enable Metro Vancouver’s growing and diverse population to connect with, enjoy, be active within, and learn about the region’s natural environment
- A change in the service area to match Metro Vancouver’s boundaries
- The development of a formal Parkland Acquisition Strategy
- An increase in the amount of dedicated funding for parkland acquisition
- New guidelines around contracting-out of activities, and consultation with member jurisdictions
A copy of the Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Service Review (public version) is available for download here.