At Vancouver Park Board’s Planning & Environment committee meeting tonight (April 8), COPE Park Board Commissioner Loretta Woodcock will be asking staff to report back on the ecological condition of Beaver Lake in Stanley Park as a result of a report presented by the Stanley Park Ecology Society.
Beaver Lake, located in the centre of the park, is one of the last natural wetlands in Vancouver. In the 1930’s, the watershed and lake were permanently altered with the completion of the Stanley Park Causeway and the introduction of water lilies. Since that time, the lake has shrunk from 6.7 Ha in 1938 to 3.9 Ha in 1997 due to accelerated sedimentation, increased plant growth, and a depletion of oxygen in the water.
“What concerns me most about Beaver Lake is that it appears to have lost an indigenous species, the Western Painted turtle, a Schedule 1 Species at Risk Act listed species. I think it is important to know why Burnaby Lake still has these turtles and Beaver Lake has had no reported sightings for years,” stated Commissioner Woodcock. “If there is a plan of action that Park Board could take to improve the watershed conditions in order to avoid further shrinkage and loss of wetland habitat, then we need to look at it sooner than later”.
Woodcock will ask staff to report back with an assessment and a plan of action over within the next five months.