Time to say goodbye to Jericho Wharf

At tomorrow’s , July 11th, 2011, Park Board meeting the contract to demolished the Jericho Wharf is on the agenda for the Board’s consideration.

The decision by the Vancouver Park Board on November 4, 2010 to remove the Jericho Marginal Wharf is a good example of evidenced based decision making.

After consultation and debate going back to 2008, involving two different Park Boards with different party majorities, no community or stakeholder consensus could be reached around the wharf. It was clear, however, that to restore the structurally unsafe wharf would cost almost one million dollars more to dismantle it.

In 2010 the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans released a study that stated that the structure of Jericho Wharf was leeching creosote into the environment and this was having a detrimental affect on the surrounding habitat. With this new study Park Board voted to demolish the structure and to restore the area to its natural state.

Habitat restoration encourages and promotes biodiversity, and ecological restoration in Vancouver’s parks will only enhance our enjoyment of these areas. Habitat restoration also recognizes and reconciles a profound history of natural habitat destruction in the city. Where there is the possibility of restoring an area back to its natural state, the opportunity should be taken.

Imagine what Vancouver could be like if all our long covered salmon bearing streams were “day lighted”, ecologically restored, and given a chance to start teaming with life again? Imagine what Beaver Lake in Stanley Park would be like if was restored to its previous rich biodiversity?

As Vancouver becomes more densely populated, having equitable access to nature and parks is going to be a real challenge, but one important to find the solutions to.

VPB report on the contract

3 Responses to “Time to say goodbye to Jericho Wharf”

  1. Michael Patience says:

    Totally agree with you Brent – should have been done long ago – however, some sort of commemorative signage should be erected on the site to acknowledge the site’s former Canadian aviation history in my opinion.

  2. George says:

    Brent, no matter how much I search, the Beaver Lake in Stanley Park was originally a pond or swamp until dredged, sometime around 1930. Now it is slowly returning to its natural state. Salmon and beavers were introduced by man sometime later.

    You wrote: ” Imagine what Beaver Lake in Stanley Park would be like if was restored to its previous rich biodiversity?”

    Is that what you meant?

  3. brent says:

    George, thanks for you comment. I am not an expert on Beaver Lake, but my understanding of one of the issue with the lake is the that water naturally fed the lake was change when the cause way through the park was constructed and disrupted the water flow to the lake. This is when the Park Board started to feed water to the Lake. The argument would be, if the problem with the Lake was caused by human intervention i.e. the road through the park for the bridge, then would that not open the door for human intervention to fix the problem now.

    I thought the Beavers came back on their own and they were not introduced. Then story I heard is “one day there were just there and no one is quite sure how they came back.”

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