New lake on Garden City Lands seems popular

In this recent view of the Garden City Lands, we’re looking north and northwest toward the Lions from the turnaround at the end of the main (west) entrance, a raised drive about 100 metres south of Lansdowne Road on Garden City Road.

Lately there’s been a lake of up to twenty acres on the Garden City Lands. It’s in the parts of the Garden City Road side, the west side, that look darkest (wettest) on the satellite image that underlies the PARC concept map. The lake extends both south and north of the west entrance. The next view (below) is looking east from Garden City Road about 150 metres south of Alderbridge Way.

The southern part of the lake literally went down the drain on Tuesday when city workers cleared up the drainage near the road. In the next photo, you can see the workers’ truck just past the entrance driveway. In mid-afternoon, there was still some pooled water south of the entrance (lower right of photo), but that disappeared when they unplugged a nearby drain.

They told me that there’s a drain every twenty steps. So far, though, they haven’t gone north of the main entrance with their drain unplugging.

The lake is a visual reminder of the crucial importance of thorough hydrology. That would begin with study of the water aspects of the lands in the context of the potential ALR uses. Along with that, there would be scientific/engineering implementation of systematic methods and ongoing evaluation. So far one group of residents has become right at home with the changing hydrology. That would be the ducks (below). A surprising factor that made an impression on me was that the several Friends of Garden City who alerted me to the impressive lake were all enthused about the ducks.

We know from the highly commendable Biophysical Inventory and Evaluation of the Lulu Island Bog that some hydrology action has been taken with the rest of the Lulu Island Bog—the Richmond Nature Park and Department of National Defence Lands (DND Lands) to the east. However, the implementation has been inadequate. The history is instructive, partly because it describes what has helped and largely because it implies what must be done differently and better.

After talking to the drain-clearing workers on Tuesday, I returned later to leisurely take in the scenery, including Mount Baker peaking over the clouds (below) in the southeast. When I took that photo, evening was coming on, and I was walking south on Garden City Road. Nearing the bus stop on the east side, I noticed a young fellow of about sixteen looking out at the Lands as he waited for his bus. I made some brief small talk about the new lake and asked him what he thought about it: “Should we try to keep it?” He said, “Yes, keep it. For the ducks.”

In our legacy from the past for the future, it would be great for humans too, especially the City Centre Area residents. The open-land park will be needed more and more as the projected 120,000 people fill in. They will get to enjoy the scenery as they walk in the park, and a lake or lakes would enhance it—as do the stars of the show, the ducks.

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