Vancouver Parks Board: KEEP KITS BEACH WILD. Say NO to the Point Grey Foreshore Seawall
  • Petitioning Mayor Gregor Robertson

This petition will be delivered to:

Vancouver City Council
Mayor Gregor Robertson
Vancouver Parks Board
Chairwoman Sara Blyth

Vancouver Parks Board: KEEP KITS BEACH WILD. Say NO to the Point Grey Foreshore Seawall

    1. Elvira Lount
    2. Petition by

      Elvira Lount

      Vancouver, Canada

The Vancouver Parks Board is proposing to extend the seawall from just west of Kitsilano Pool along the quiet wild beach to Spanish Banks. Vision Vancouver has lined up a private donor who is offering $10 million to pay for the costs. Park Board Chair Sarah Blyth introduced a seawall motion on July 9, 2012, “ which, if approved July 23, will see staff developing options to connect the seawall and provide a timeline and estimate of costs for the job ... That preliminary work will include city engineering reports, community consultations, meeting with residents along the route, discussions with the federal department of Fisheries and Oceans, which manages the foreshore along that stretch of beach, and nailing down the cost and funding." (Vancouver Courier July 11, 2012)

This beach is called the “POINT GREY FORESHORE”. It is the last natural beach in the City of Vancouver. On this foreshore a bounteous intertidal zone provides a rich feeding for waterfowl that come in large numbers, especially during the winter months. More than 150 different bird species have been identified here, at which at least 70 are regular winter residents.

As a concerned citizen wrote on a sign at a beach access point: “This is the very last publicly accessible undeveloped beach in the City of Vancouver, a recovering marine habitat. The media has portrayed this beach as a preserve of "the very rich mansion owners of Point Grey Road. Most of them have no access from their property: they may or may not be on the beach. The Point Grey Foreshore belongs to those who love and use it, who do not want to sit with 10,000 others in an artificial environment, who want to watch the herons fish, seals pass by and cormants sun themselves on floating logs. Vancouver has many kilometers of wheel-accessible beach paths, only one "primitive" beach for the general public.

Another concerned citizen wrote in a Letter to the Editor of the Vancouver Courier on July 13, 2012: “One of the wonderful aspects of living in Vancouver are the pockets of relatively unspoiled nature that the public can enjoy if they want to. So now the two parties at city hall want to ruin the quality of life that many of us enjoy by marketing (and therefore ruining) the very thing that makes Vancouver special. The beach beyond Kits all the way to Spanish Banks is a joy to use for the very fact that there isn't any formal seawall or path way that the hordes can use... and therefore makes it a gem in Vancouver. When my family and I are down there for our walks and mooching around, it is almost like being on a Gulf Island but with a city view. No crowds, no frenzy, just a wonderful peaceful retreat within the city. It's a luxury within Vancouver.”

This is another attempt to homogenize the natural world that we live in. It's remarkable that we have such a treasure in our midst -- a place where one can walk and see the city -- but feel like one is not in the city. Let’s keep it that way. Don't turn it into another noisy seawall of cyclists, joggers and skateboarders. We have plenty of those.

We urge the Vancouver Parks Board and City Council to take a walk on this quiet beach and reconsider your plans to extend the seawall. Keep Kits Beach Wild. Say no to the Point Grey Foreshore seawall.

We also ask that you reveal the anonymous donor. We're entitled to know this information so that we can determine if there are any vested interests.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Save Kits Beach, Hadden Park & Keep Kits Beach Wild Beach Party July 5 11-3

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      The Save Kits Beach Coalition, Hadden Park Defence League and Keep Kits Beach Wild are hosting a Seaside Greenway party/picnic on July 5th 11am - 3pm to celebrate our park greenspace.

      We will be gathering in the FAMILY PICNIC AREA in the old grove of trees at the northern end of Kitsilano Beach for a picnic and entertainment. Games will be held in the western end of Hadden Park (near the washrooms).

      We invite our supporters, friends, family, beach users and everyone else to attend. Come for the whole time or just drop by and visit. Bring a picnic lunch, blankets, chairs, tables, games, guitars and other musical instruments. Chat, sing, dance, play and have fun. More details to follow. Ideas for activities and entertainment are welcome. (There will also be food and drink at the Beach Volleyball Open just down the beach.)

      Our party is being held at the same time as the overall Seaside Greenway Party being held in the pocket parks on Point Grey Road as well as Seaforth Park. All are welcome.

      https://www.facebook.com/events/680129922058085/

      Save Kits Beach & Hadden Park Seaside Greenway Party | Facebook

      Save Kits Beach & Hadden Park Seaside Greenway Party | Facebook

    2. Reached 750 signatures
    3. Action required to Save Kits Beach green space from 12ft paved bike lane.

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      The Vancouver Park Board has voted to put a 12ft (3.5M) separated bike lane through the little remaining green space of Kits Beach and Hadden Parks. This bike freeway will cut a swath through a well used family picnic area set in a beautiful old grove of trees, behind a basketball court and close to a children's playground. The mindset behind this is the same mindset that wants to build a seawall on our last remaining wild beach along the Kits foreshore.

      A 3 min epic "Kits Bike Lane The Movie" has been created by Oscar winning Kits filmmaker David Fine that summarizes the issue simply and clearly. Please view and share. http://youtu.be/9-xxXVf76pc

      Sign the petition to Save Kits Beach http://ow.ly/qrBQ9

      Join the ongoing discussion of both the Kits foreshore seawall and Kits Beach park bike lane on the Keep Kits Beach Wild Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/groups/keepkitsbeachwild/

      More videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/utopiapictures2007

      Flickr Photos http://ow.ly/qrCuJ

      Kits Bike Path - The Movie

      All about Vancouver Park Board's decision to ram an ill-conceived bike path through the green space at Kits Beach. Here's the petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/gregor-robertson-mayor-of-vancouver-and-vision-vancouver-save-kits-beach-take-a-stand-tearing-up-family-park-green-space-for-12-wide-asphalt-bike-lane And here's the email address for the Parks Board pbcomment@vancouver.ca Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveKitsBeachCoalition?fref=ts

    4. Update Kits Foreshore Seawall + action required to Save Kits Beach parks

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Good news on the foreshore seawall front. I have been informed by sources within City Hall that the seawall is not going to happen because of property access issues - in other words the BC Law of Riparian rights. See my Keep Kits Beach Wild Facebook group post https://www.facebook.com/groups/keepkitsbeachwild/permalink/329640303805608/

      Furthermore, during the recent City Council's hearing of speakers and public on the Point Grey-Cornwall Corridor, the Transportation Dept's Director Jerry Dobrovolny stated that the seawall was a "long term project in terms of looking at environmental assessment and in terms of looking at property rights and access to the water." (in other words - riparian rights.).

      A report to Council is expected at the end of the year at which time we'll really see where things are at. In the meantime it's still important to share the petition.

      A related issue has emerged further east along Kits Beach -- at Kits Beach and Hadden Parks. More on that in my next post

    5. City Hall still working behind the scenes on foreshore seawall option

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Things may seem quiet on the quiet Kits Beach foreshore front however behind the scenes at City Hall the work continues on the seawall plan. Jerry Dobrovolny, director of transportation for the City of Vancouver, said in this Globe article yesterday "constructing a seawall between Jericho Beach and Kitsilano Beach is a possibility for the long term." Time to send Jerry a few emails to let him know that there's no way we're going to let that happen - for many reasons, let alone the legal impossibility. Jerry -- please stop wasting taxpayers time and money and focus on the important issues. Keep Kits Beach Wild ... jerry.dobrovolny@vancouver.ca

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/resentment-of-the-rich-a-roadblock-to-point-grey-bike-route/article9106493/

      I sent Jerry and others at City Hall and Parks Board a copy of the Petition and all the names of the signers plus comments in Oct, 2012 when the petition hit 600. Obviously it just went in one eye and out the other.

    6. Reached 600 signatures
    7. Group mounts opposition to extended Vancouver seawall plan

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      A good article in the Courier about the public meeting on Oct 3. ... http://www.vancourier.com/news/Group+mounts+opposition+extended+Vancouver+seawall+plan/7333569/story.html

      And just in case we think we've won this battle -- here's a quote from the article...

      "Jerry Dobrovolny, the city’s director of transportation, said city and park board staff have started looking into the seawall proposal. “We’re meeting. We’re doing some preliminary work. We’ve gone out and done some site assessment,” he said, while adding that there’s no timeline for when staff will report back.

      “We’re in the final stages of our transportation 2040 plan and the goal for that is to come back to council in the next month or so. So that sets the framework for moving forward on a whole variety of projects. That would take place first before any other report backs,” he explained."

      Seems the City is proceeding regardless of the Parks Board voting to defer the Motion to look into the seawall concept.

    8. Reached 500 signatures
    9. Photos from Point Grey Foreshore Walkabout Aug 4-12

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Public link to Facebook public photos from our great walk.

      http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150977027516086.412547.667896085&type=3&l=2bf56d9b69

      A 2nd walkabout will be held on Sat Aug 18- 11-1 pm starting at Jericho Beach -- meeting at the west end of Point Grey Rd ( between the parking lot and the concession stand at Jericho Beach.)

      The walkabout will be heading East. By starting at Jericho we can see some of the unique geology that would be lost - fossil sites, and big concretions. In addition we will see populations of dune grass and big headed sedge that would also be destroyed by a seawall.

      RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/events/441441549234189/

    10. Local activists want to educate people on seawall extension

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Article & couple pics from our successful fun walkabout Aug 4. About 40 quiet wild beach lovers turned out.

      "A Kitsilano man is urging people who'd love the Vancouver seawall to be extended up to Jericho Beach to take his tour.

      Mel Lehan with the Point Grey Foreshore Society gathered a marine biologist, a botanist and a historian to lead a walk between Kits and Jericho beaches on Saturday, to highlight what would happen to the ecosystem should a seawall be erected.

      "We've commissioned a lot of studies and we found that there's more birds, there's more plants, there's lots of marine life and it's because it's a complete ecosystem that hasn't been impacted by a seawall," he explains.

      Lehan adds that while the seawall is a very popular feature, it comes with crowds and people should have the option to enjoy the shores in a quiet way.

      "There's 22 kilometres of seawall in the city of Vancouver. We can leave the last mile without a seawall. It's a question of diversity.""

    11. Point Grey Foreshore Walkabout - Sat Aug 4 @ 1.30 PM

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Hi Keep Kits Beach Wild supporters,

      Elvira asked me if I can organize a walkabout of our precious natural foreshore led by experts. I have arranged for a walkabout to be held on Saturday, August 4 at 1:30 - 3:30pm. We will meet at the stairways to the foreshore in the park at Trafalgar St & Point Grey Rd. (2 blks east of Macdonald.)

      So far we have a geologist and a marine biologist leading us. Other experts may well come also. The purpose of this walk would be to help inform all of us about the consequences to the foreshore of imposing a structure along this area.
      It should be a wonderful learning and experience and a fun event. Hope you can make it.

      Mel Lehan

    12. Letter to the Courier July 27 re "Paving paradise and putting up a seawall"

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      "I must side with Allen Garr that to preserve the Point Grey foreshore in as close to its natural state as it now exists is better than to extend the seawall.

      Nature is mucky, smelly, blocks views, and drips sap on cars, and will someone please stifle those raucous Sunday morning crows and seagulls. Infirm as I am, bonkers and creaky, with thanks to our dear, dear Supreme Court for granting me the option to bring myself off with help from a professional rather than a batched amateur attempt, I would still prefer a hazardous access to wild foreshore."

    13. "Seawall and Shoreline" City Hall Watch Blog

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      After nearly 3 hours of waiting, 21 speakers had their chance to express intense opposition to park commissioners, particularly about Vision Vancouver’s Sarah Blyth’s motion to develop options for connecting the seawall from Jericho to Kitsilano Beach. Some speakers also addressed the Fraser shoreline access portion. Speakers included many civic luminaries who said the shoreline should not be altered by putting in a seawall. Reasons included ecology, tranquility, cost, and the need to better understand and respect past public debate and a 1994 decision by the Park Board to keep the area natural. Concerns were also raised about the idea of the City accepting large “anonymous” donations, due to the lack of transparency and potential for corruption. Many implied that the motion itself should be scrapped. One speaker said that the motion should be broken into two — one being for the Fraser River shoreline, and one for the Kit-Jericho beach.

    14. Vancouver Park Board Backs Away Seawall Expansion

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      In the face of intense opposition, the Vancouver park board has put off making a decision on whether to work with the city on connecting the seawall from Jericho to Kitsilano Beach.

      At the board meeting last night, all 21 speakers from the community opposed the idea, citing the importance of preserving the foreshore.

    15. Reached 250 signatures
    16. Letter to the Editor, The Courier July 11-12

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      This has always been a public area used by hundreds of people who want to visit a natural foreshore to enjoy a refuge away from traffic and noise. There has never been any suggestion from anyone that this is somehow a private area with restricted access. This shoreline is especially valuable for children who can experience and learn about the natural world.

      Visitors will find several stairway access points located at a number of the street ends that lead to the shore. Several interpretative signs will help people identify the shore plants, intertidal life and thousands of birds that use and live in the area. These have been erected and maintained by a volunteer group, the Point Grey Foreshore Society.

      ...In the early 1990s, the park board and city council recognized the value of this natural area and declared it should be preserved without a seawall.

      Jan Pierce, July 11-12

    17. Letter to PB Chair & Mayor of Vancouver from a citizen

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      "How does destroying one of the only remaining natural foreshores' in Vancouver improve the quality of life for a city the Mayor wants to make the greenest in the world?

      A cement seawall will not improve the quality of life for the natural world that inhabits this amazing beach. You don’t need a seawall to come and enjoy this magical area. I know, I walk it everyday in summer and winter. Nature cannot be improved upon here. It is enough as it is."

      David Frank Gomez, July 18-12

    18. "Just because we can build a seawall extension doesn't mean we should"

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Stuart Mackinnon: The Province Blogs July 12-12 "A seawall extension would also dump tons of fill and concrete onto one of the last sections of natural foreshore on English Bay. Is this what we want? Do we really want a cement, fortress-like structure surrounding our city? What about leaving some space for natural waterfront?"

    19. "Kitsilano seawall – just let the beach be" by Diana Ellis, Suzuki Elders

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      "Now we have another Vancouver resident offering a large sum of money to extend the gorgeous seawall along this mile. A great offer, for sure. But how about this novel thought – can we just let it be? Can we play the nature card and keep this mile of what I call a “working beach” just that?"

    20. Allen Garr's brilliant article in The Courier July 19-12

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Beyond the blackberry thickets, wild roses and cliffs draped with English Ivy, at low tide the beach stretches beyond shoals of seaweed and eel grass and tidal pools to the shore where great blue herons hunt and crows squabble over bits of seafood.

      I could have been almost anywhere on a hundred wild and natural beaches up the coast. But I was here on this small sliver of what Vancouver’s water’s edge must have looked like a 1,000 years ago. And now it’s at risk of being sanitized, paved over, not totally of course, but enough to obliterate any sense that it is as advertised by a sign erected by the park board and a group called the Point Grey Natural Foreshore and Waterfowl Sanctuary Protection Society: “A wilderness beach near downtown.”

      Read more: http://www.vancourier.com/Paving+paradise+putting+seawall+Vancouver/6959837/story.html#ixzz216w9drfJ

    21. 100 signatories goal reached in 4 days. Have upped it to 500 for now.

      Elvira Lount
      Petition Organizer

      Petition will be presented to Parks Board meeting on Mon July 23rd with the latest number of signatories at that time. Will be keep going as long as need be. Thanks for your support. Be sure to share. Join or Facebook group if you haven't as yet. So far there are 184 members. Come to the Parks Board meeting if you can. Details on the Facebook group - link below.

    22. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Angela Wheelock VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • 3 months ago

      We already have plenty of "landscaped" space in the City. Preserve wild habitat.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • carol buchanan VANCOUVER BC, CANADA
      • 9 months ago

      I feel so frustrated that people continue to pour concrete or seawalls everywhere. Let places be wild. to help people in wheelchairs, build and rent for a nominal amount, a wheelchair with BIG WHEELS that can transverse SAND, some types of ROCKS and enter the seawater, or, enables the person to enter the water with assistance. that is a better way to spend the money.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Marvel Cunningham WHISTLER, CANADA
      • 9 months ago

      This is beautiful just the way it is!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Gudrun Will VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • 9 months ago

      As a resident of Kits for almost two decade, I would hate to see this last stretch of natural area artificialized and False Creeked. Please leave it alone to preserve some diversity!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Julia Gordon VANCOUVER, CANADA
      • 10 months ago

      The little bits of wilderness accessible in the city is what makes Vancouver a uniquely wonderful place to live. Also, think of the people with mobility restrictions who cannot go hiking out in the wilderness -- for them having this kind of a beach within a short walk from a parking lot is a matter of quality of life. We come to this beach from downtown very often, to get away from the crowds; I do not at all buy the story that this beach is only enjoyed by the mansion-owners.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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