A walk to Stanley Park last week left me dismayed with the state of the so called cleanup efforts.
I mean in areas that are regularly accessed by visitors; around Second Beach and the Pitch and Putt golf course. There are trees and tree branches everywhere. Brown with rot. Trails are still closed near the Greig Rhododendron gardens. In that creek that leads into Lost Lagoon from Second Beach there are willow branches and junk. Some trees have been cut and the debris is left to litter the trailside. The little wooden bridge that crosses the creek has two rails missing and is simply closed. They keep saying they need heavy equipment to get into the park. But what would that take to fix the areas within view of tourists? A couple of hours by some guys wanting a little cash and firewood?
What is the Parks Board spending the money on? Letting their regular employees get the overtime instead of tackling it head on? Isn't there enough labour available on day rates? It seems to me that a couple of guys with chain saws and a pickup truck could clean up a lot of that mess in no time. What's the delay? Should tourists see a big mess like this?
It seems to me that the maintenance of Stanley Park has been deteriorating over several years now. Banks of grass that were once available to sit on to view English Bay are now overgrown with blackberry bushes. they seem to hire only about two gardners for the summer who can't keep up anyway, they need LOTS of simple labour in there. And NOW! It's time they started spending some of that money on recovery instead of administration. Stanley Park is a jewel in our city. Mismanagement is going on there somewhere.
The Parks Board should be ashamed of their efforts so far.
This response from Park Board spokesperson Yuna Flewen :
Scheduled timeline for the park clean-up is well within the mark, and we are also on track financially. A progress report is currently prepared for public distribution. After the storm we have invited experts from forestry, ecology and geotechnical fields and park stakeholders and prepared the official restoration plan, conducted public opinion polling on major issues that affect the operation, identified ecologically sensitive areas, took inventory of species at risk, assessed hazard trees and adjusted the trees that were deemed as dangerous for public safety. We have also conducted initial geotechnical assessment of the Prospect Point slope area and prepared a fire risk assessment and preparedness strategy.
Unfortunately, the open and visible blowdown area near Lost Lagoon has been identified as one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the park for restoration. We have hired a consultant to work on a site specific restoration prescription, and we will begin debris removal process shortly.
The problem is simply one of somebody taking charge. It doesn't need studies, committees or strategies to remove dead branches. Again, TOO MANY ADMINISTRATORS!
Get on with it.
You may find information on our restoration website helpful in answering your queries. http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/stanley/restoration/index.htm