Forest Restoration in Kanaka Creek Regional Park, Maple Ridge, BC

  • Alison Pocock University of Victoria


Kanaka Creek Regional Park is an ecologically significant space in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, also holding cultural and recreational value to the community. The creek meanders through protected park land, encompassing young forest that is growing on top of sandy and silty soils. Recent off trail use by bicycles has damaged vegetation growth and compacted soil at a site down trail from the 108 Loop entrance to the park. This site was selected as a suitable restoration project for the Restoration of Natural Systems program at University of Victoria. With a partnership between Metro Vancouver Regional Parks and Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (KEEPS), and with the support from Pacific Parklands Foundation’s George Ross Legacy Stewardship Program, this project was made possible.
The project goals were to decrease human impact to the site by hiding unsanctioned trails, and limit visibility behind the new split-rail fence by creating a natural plant barrier. Paired with this goal is another to facilitate recovery of the native plant community by planting over ten different native species to match surrounding vegetation. Using a terrestrial ecosystem mapping (TEM) approach the goals were to be met by mapping the site, conducting a remote site analysis, and completing ground inspections before ordering materials. Soil from Nutrifor and plants from NATS nursery supported the recovery of vegetation at this site, with the help of a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. These efforts contribute to the maintenance and management of a park that provides significant habitat connectivity for black bears. To further support park management, community engagement and education initiatives helped promote positive park practices. Engagement and education are part of a tertiary goal, to improve local black bear awareness in places where bear sightings are common. This goal was met through educational displays and conversations in the park, with the Metro Vancouver Park Interpretation Team and KEEPS Education Coordinator. Together, the ecological restoration activities and community engagement made this project a success.

Technical Papers