Big Rock at Aldergrove Regional Park.

Future of Lower Mainland park in question as ownership transition hits snag

Aldergrove Regional Park, a full square mile of land, straddles the Langley-Abbotsford border

A wrinkle in the transition of parkland responsibilities has put the future of Aldergrove Regional Park in question.

Metro Vancouver Parks has overseen operations and maintenance of the regional parks throughout the Fraser Valley for many years, but the Abbotsford City is in the process of taking responsibility over for parklands within its boundaries.

It has been a smooth transition for parks such as Matsqui Trail, Sumas Mountain and the eastern portion of Glen Valley Regional Park referred to as Poplar Bar and Duncan Bar, including Crescent Island — to be transferred to the City of Abbotsford.

However, Aldergrove Regional Park, a full square mile of land, straddles the Langley-Abbotsford border, with half of it inside Langley and half inside Abbotsford.

Under the agreement, Aldergrove Regional Park would continue to be owned and operated by Metro Vancouver, as approximately 75 percent of its users reside in Metro Vancouver.

However, “it turns out that the proposed Order in Council that would potentially have allowed Metro Vancouver to operate land outside its boundary in Abbotsford (which relates to the eastern portion of Aldergrove Regional Park) was not deemed applicable by the Province,” said Wendy Dadalt, division manager of Regional Parks.

“While all parties wish to keep the park whole and operated by Metro Vancouver, a legal mechanism for this has not yet been established.

“In order to keep the process to facilitate the service area amendment moving forward the board decided to dispose of the eastern portion of Aldergrove to the City of Abbotsford with the understanding that Metro Vancouver would work with the Province to find a way to prevent this from being implemented in the end. Metro Vancouver would continue to operate the park for awhile if this was unavoidable and continue to seek a reversal mechanism. This is an unfortunate situation and needs to be carefully monitored to ensure this intent is realized,” said Dadalt, adding that stakeholder concerns could be submitted.

Metro Vancouver reached an agreement with the City of Abbotsford, which enables the City to withdraw from Metro Vancouver’s regional parks function. Once approved, the City of Abbotsford will no longer participate in or financially contribute to parks within Metro Vancouver and can allocate resources to parks within its own municipality and region.

A bylaw enabling Abbotsford’s withdrawal underwent a first reading at the November 24 meeting of Metro Vancouver’s board. The board also had endorsed a proposed Order in Council for the province’s consideration that would enable Metro Vancouver to own and operate parkland outside its geographical boundaries, without requiring membership of the City of Abbotsford in the MVRD parks function.

Aldergrove residents and park users are questioning what this could mean for Aldergrove Regional Park’s future.

Robert Puls, president of the Langley Field Naturalists (LFN), has expressed concerns over the possible outcomes of the dispersal of the park ownership and management.

“At this point we have no insight to the pros and cons of this land ownership swap and are concerned for the future of the park. The LFN have ongoing involvement with the park, particularly the wetland restoration in the south west corner,” said Puls.

“We need to know what changes could occur in management and whether we need to become involved in the process.”

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

Smoke, Fire & Thunder returns to Mission Raceway Park

The annual event takes place Aug. 23-25.

The Offspring and Sum 41 announce show in Abbotsford

Bands play Abbotsford Centre on Nov. 30 as part of Canadian leg of current tour

PHOTOS: Chrome For Kids features more than 100 big rigs

Mission Raceway hosted truck show and shine supporting the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in Manning Park backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read