Central Park (Burnaby)

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Central Park
Central Park Gate 3.JPG
Central Park Gate 3
Location 3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Nearest city Vancouver
Area 86.4 hectares (213 acres)
Established 1891
Owned by Burnaby
Website www.burnaby.ca/Things-To-Do/Explore-Outdoors/Parks/Central-Park.html
Metrotown (L) and Central Park (R) from Vancouver's North Shore. Port of Vancouver in foreground.

Central Park is a 90-hectare (222 acre) urban park in Burnaby, British Columbia, founded in 1891.[1]

The park is on the Vancouver-Burnaby border, just west of the Metropolis at Metrotown shopping complex, and is bounded by Boundary Road on the west, Kingsway on the north, Patterson and Willingdon Avenues on the east, and Imperial Road on the south. The nearest SkyTrain station, Patterson Station, named for Burnaby pioneer Dugald Campbell Patterson, is at the park's northeast corner. The main entrance to Central Park is off Kingsway near Patterson Avenue.

Central Park was once a naval reserve set aside as a source of masts and spars for ships of the Royal Navy.[2] The park was named to honour Mrs. David Oppenheimer, the wife of Vancouver's second mayor, who was born in New York City.[3]

Central Park's primary attraction is the large proportion of its land reserved as a well-preserved temperate rainforest ecosystem, with numerous walking trails. Among its other attractions are the award-winning children's playground,[citation needed] pitch and putt golf, an outdoor swimming facility, a lawn bowling facility, several picnic areas, tennis courts, and a couple of small duck ponds. Wildlife in the park includes grey squirrels and coyotes.

A new fitness circuit was installed during the time period between 2012 and 2014 in the park replacing the old wooden exercise apparatus to new metal and rubber ones. These apparatus are situated throughout the park and include an exercise bike, pull-up bars, and weights. The 12 stations are designed to improve strength, cardiovascular health, balance, and flexibility. A total of 13998 pounds of rubber was used in the manufacturing of the apparatus. The creation of the circuit was sponsored by Tire Stewardship BC and Kal Tire.

The Korean War Memorial is in the west side of the park, close to Boundary Road.

Swangard Stadium, another Burnaby landmark and a former home for the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team, is located at the northwest corner of Central Park.

Attractions[edit]

Trails and hiking[edit]

The City of Burnaby recommends several circuitous routes. The 5 kilometer Terry Fox Trail circles around the upper pond and just reaches the lower pond. Visitors often use this trail for physical activity purposes and is annually used for the Terry Fox Run for the City of Burnaby.[4] The 2.6 kilometer Trail of Hope also circles around the upper pond and reaches the lower pond while a 1.9 kilometer trail circles a portion of the parkland.[5]

Swangard stadium[edit]

Swangard stadium Burnaby
Whitecaps playing in Swangard Stadium in Central Park

Swangard Stadium, former home of the Vancouver Whitecaps, and erected in 1961, is located at the north-west corner of the park. It regularly holds soccer and rugby games, alternative sporting events, concerts, and a variety of community events. The stadium is available for rental.[6]

Facilities[edit]

The outdoor pool is on the west side of the park, and the fitness circuit and tennis courts are located to the south east side. The baseball diamond and lawn bowling facility sit on the north-east side, while the pitch and putt [7] and golf course are sits on the south-east side. The horseshoe pitch, playground, and bowling green are on the north-east side of the park. Moving down to the south east side is a golf course and two tennis courts. On the west side of the park there is an expansive picnic area.

The Earl and Jennie Lohn Perennial Garden, located on the north-east side of the park, is popular location of botanical interest. The Variety Park playground is a popular destination for families.

Ecology[edit]

Central park's large wooded areas are temperate rainforest, a remnant of Vancouver's original forest ecosystem.[8] The park was logged in the 1890s, and huge stumps can still be seen. Notches in these stumps mark them as harvested by springboard logging techniques.Seedlings can be seen growing from these stumps. As these stumps decay they provide habitat and nutrients for the young plants, while protecting them from the acidic conditions on the forest floor. The park has two man-made lakes and a stream. Many phytoplankton and zooplankton live in these lakes, including Daphnia and Cyclops species.

Animal life[edit]

A variety of birds live in the park, attracted by the habitat and berry-producing shrubs. These include downy woodpeckers, towhees, American robins, sparrows, finches and crows.The park is home to Douglas squirrels and coyotes[8]

Both lakes provide habitat for Canada geese, mallards, and other waterfowl. The upper lake is home to crawfish and minnows. The lower lake has schools of brown bullhead, a fish in the catfish order, which can sometimes be viewed from the bridge by the golf shop.

Invasive animal species[edit]

An invasive eastern gray squirrel in Burnaby's Central Park.
An invasive Eastern gray squirrel in Burnaby's Central Park.
Northern snakehead fish in hands.
An invasive Snakehead fish

Invasive species in Central Park tend to be larger, more hardy and more aggressive in general than native species. On top of that, most of these invasive species do not have predators to keep their population down, which gives these species higher fitness than native species. Some common invasive animals include Eastern gray squirrel, American bull frog, European chafer beetle and European fire ants.[9]

In early 2012 a blotched snakehead was seen in YouTube videos of Central Park's lagoon. Because of the invasive and aggressive nature of the snakehead, scientists were called in, the lagoon was drained, and the fish was captured. There's no evidence it reproduced or spread its range, and so the snakehead had not spread to British Columbia.[10]

Plant life[edit]

This second growth forest is dominated by Douglas fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar. Vine maple, spruce, birch and elderberry are present, and each have a significant share of the tree overstory. Salmonberry, thimbleberry, huckleberry and trailing blackberry provide edible fruit for humans and animals, and together with hollyhock make up the shrub understory. Sword and bracken ferns are also abundant. The native vine orange honeysuckle can be found growing up tree trunks near Swangard Stadium.

Invasive plant species[edit]

Burnaby Central Park has a few invasive plant species that the city is working to remove. These plans were implemented in 2011 along the 2.5 kilometer trail as known as Trail of Hope and is primarily run by volunteers even to this day. Some of these invasive pant species that populate Central Park are English holly, English ivy, Butterfly-bush, Japanese knotweed, Policeman's helmet, and Periwinkle.[11]

Community organizations are part of an ongoing effort to reduce and eliminate invasive plant species. The Invasive Species Counsel of British Columbia has non-profit status, and spreads public awareness in addition to dealing with invasive plants directly.[12][13]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 49°13′37″N 123°01′06″W / 49.227071°N 123.018208°W / 49.227071; -123.018208