As of Thursday, April 28th, Vancouver just got a little greener! What started out as a humble 0.8-acre plot of real estate in Vancouver’s Yaletown has now blossomed into a beautiful ‘park of the future’ at Smithe and Richards. More than that, though, the park symbolizes a significant step in decolonizing the City of Vancouver through a restorative green space.
In collaboration with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh Nations, the Vancouver Park Board hopes to share the stories of the Nations’ stewardship of the unceded lands through public art installations and cultural programming.
“This park will be a gathering place in the city like no other. It’s a symbol of connection to one another, to the land, and an opportunity to build further collaboration with the host Nations for education, programming, and artwork,” says Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.
In addition to a modern play structure, the park also features climbing frames, hammocks, multi-dimensional walkways, and more. Basically, forget everything you thought you knew about what a park is supposed to look like!
Last but certainly not least, you will soon be able to grab a warm cuppa joe at an onsite cafe run by Kafka’s.
The Park Board partnered with the independent coffee roaster to create a neighbourhood hub where visitors of the park can load up on fresh pastries and sandwiches, house-baked sourdough, and even soft-serve ice cream. Don’t be surprised if you end up spending most of your time this spring and summer at this new park!
This June, the host Nations will gift the park a name in an official naming ceremony. Stay tuned via @vanparkboard for future updates.
Enjoy the new park, Vancouver!