Metro Vancouver Pacific Spirit Park Service Yard Replacement Project
What is a Service Yard?
A regional park service yard typically has facilities and storage required to service and maintain the park (e.g. tools, mowers, forest-fire-fighting equipment, wheelbarrows, lumber, fencing materials, signage, gravel, garbage and recycling bins, vehicles, workshop facilities, restoration project facilitates).
The Need for a New Service YardThe existing park service yard is located on provincially owned University Endowment Land property adjacent to the University Endowment Land administration and operations buildings. The service yard consists of several repurposed trailers and outbuildings that were established in 1990. They are in poor condition and are inadequate for current park operational requirements. Hence, a new service yard is required to provide save and efficient work space for park staff and to ensure a continued high level of public service, secured equipment and supplies, natural resource protection, facility maintenance and etc.
The proposed service yard will be used for facilitites and storage required to service and maintain the park.
Location for New Service Yard
The service yard will be about an acre in size (4000 sq. m,). The three sites considered for this projects are: Little Australia, 29th & Imperial Drive, and Sedgewick Fill Site.
CAC Save Little Australia Park Working Group
At the July 2016 UEL Community Advisory Council (CAC) public meeting, there was unanimous community support for the Little Australia Park to not become the new service yard site for Pacific Spirit Park.
A Working Group was created to work to save the park and relocate the service yard to an alternate site. The group has reviewed Metro’s three proposed replacement service yard sites, and strongly rejects any site within the Little Australia Park triangle.
Impacts of a Service Yard in Little Australia Park
Accessible and safe parks are an essential ingredient to a healthy neighborhood, providing a place to exercise, play, spend time with friend and neighbors, or just relax and recuperate Research shows that parks matter for health; the effects of nearby parks range from increasing physical activity to improving mental health.
- Parks provide people with contact with nature, known to confer certain health benefits and enhance well being. Active park users was have fewer related to visits to a physician other than for routine checkups. Physical activity has been identified as a ‘best buy’ for public health.
- Physical activity opportunities in parks help to increase fitness and reduce obesity. A significant and growing body of evidence links insufficient physical activity to a number of medical problems and premature death.
- Parks resources can mitigate climate, air, and water pollution impacts on public health.
- Cities need to provide all types of parks, to provide their various citizen groups with a range of health benefits.
- Walking and cycling have been identified as a key means by which people can build physical activity into their lifestyles.
Spanish Bank Creek Habitat
The Little Australia Park sits at the headwaters of the Spanish Bank Creek that runs through a ravine to the ocean, and is in the center of the watershed that feeds the creek. The ravine is a sensitive fish habitat, rehabilitated in 2000, that supports salmon and trout as well as the invertebrates they feed on.
Any contaminants from a service yard located in the Little Australia Park triangle area could have a serious negative impact on the entire aquatic ecosystem of Spanish Bank Creek. Increased pollution would also affect the many plant and animal species (such as otters and mink) found in this area.
The proposed service yard site in Little Australia Park is north and west of residential neighbourhoods, and the resulting noise could severely impact residents.
- As an industrial site, its activities will create a considerable amount of noise from traffic to and from the yard and activities within the yard. The yard will be busy on week days, at night, and also on weekends for various Pacific Spirit Park work parties.
- If the service yard is located in the treed area north or west of the open park space, the trees that currently act as a noise control buffer for the traffic along 4th Ave/Chancellor diversion will be removed. This will increase the traffic noise from 2 to 4 times, depending on the location and orientation of the yard.
The proposed service yard could create serious hazards for cyclists along Chancellor Blvd, part of a heavily used cycling route to UBC. These hazards could result in serious injury.
- Increased traffic to and from the yard could lead to increased vehicle/cyclist collisions in the area.
- Materials stored at the site could result in spillage of debris, such as gravel, on the roadway. This could cause a cyclist to lose control, resulting in a non-vehicle involved accident.
Contact UsIf you would like more information, or would like to be added to our e-mail list for updates and notifications about saving Little Australia Park, send an e-mail to;
- Metro Vancouver Parks: Pacific Spirit Regional Park Service Yard Replacement Project