Seal Bay Nature Park – Master Plan Update

The CVRD is updating the 1998 Seal Bay Park Master Plan.  The updated plan will outline the vision and management directions for Seal Bay Park and identify priorities for improvements for the next 10 – 15 years.

As part of the process to update the plan, the CVRD is seeking public input on a long term vision for the park, strategies to protect the natural environment, trail use designations, signage for better wayfinding and other improvements park users may like to see.

Public Consultations to Date

During summer 2015, CVRD staff surveyed park visitors in the park to learn what they appreciate most about the park and want to see preserved and what they think needs improvement. The survey was also posted on-line. Altogether, 241 residents completed the survey.

Based on the input received, the CVRD developed questions for discussion at a public open house, held on January 20, 2016.  The event was attended by close to 90 residents.  The format of the event was a series of information panels for people to review, questions related to each panel and small round table discussions.

January 2016 Open House Information Panels

Open House Questionnaire

Background Information

Seal Bay Nature Park Features

At 652 hectares (1,610 acres) in size, Seal Bay Nature Park is one and a half times the size of Stanley Park in Vancouver.  The park protects a large contiguous second growth Douglas-fir forest as well areas of mixed forests and wetlands.  Dense stands of salal and sword fern can be found in the understorey.  On the ocean side of the park, deep ravines descend down to a rock beach and a one kilometer long coastline. 

The park has 40 km of recreational trails.  Trails around the wetland and on the ocean side are pedestrian only trails.  The other trails are a mix of pedestrian only and multi-use trails that also allow for horses and bikes. 

Managing Seal Bay Nature Park involves striking a balance between recreation and conservation.  In order to protect nesting and fledging birds and young fawns, dogs are required to be leashed on all trails from April through June.  On the ocean side of the park and on the Swamp Loop around Melda’s marsh, dog leashing is mandatory year round.

Purpose of the Update to the Seal Bay Park Master Plan

The current park master plan for Seal Bay Nature Park was written in 1998.  While most of the information about the park’s natural features hasn’t changed much, other parts of the plan are out of date, such as references to park rules, site plans and maps, the trail system and proposed park improvements.  In order to update the park master plan, the CVRD is seeking public input on a long term vision for the park, strategies to protect the natural environment, trail use designations, possible expansion of parking areas and other improvements.

Click here, to view the 1998 Seal Bay Park Master Plan. [PDF - 2 MB]

Public Outreach

What is a park master plan?

A park master plan is a document that outlines the vision and management directions for a park.

A park master plan:

  • Situates the park within the surrounding environment identifying adjacent residential areas, village and town sites, other protected areas and trail corridors/greenways.   
  • Describes the park’s history, recreation and cultural uses, natural ecosystems and environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Establishes the long-term vision and management objectives for the park.
  • Establishes management zones in the park such as environmentally sensitive areas which are to be managed largely for conservation, low intensity recreation areas with trail systems and high intensity recreation areas which may include parking lots, picnic areas and other public amenities.
  • Identifies management directions for the park, for example, additional trails, picnic areas or parking areas to be developed, sensitive ecosystems to be protected or restored, control of invasive plant species, protection of forest health, etc.

Contact Information

For other questions about the process to update for Seal Bay Nature Park, contact the community services branch at 250-334-6000 or at