Regional Parks and Trails Service

Background

In December 2020, the CVRD Board provided direction to undertake a regional parks service establishment background study to help local government elected officials and staff make an informed decision about the merits of a regional parks service and whether to establish such a service in the CVRD. Neilson Strategies was selected to perform this work which is being guided by a working group comprised of staff from the regional district and each of the municipalities to ensure an open and collaborative process.

Over the past several years, there has been a renewed interest in a regional parks service and how it may help the Comox Valley meet some of its regional active transportation, outdoor recreation and conservation/climate action goals.

To learn more and participate in this active public engagement please visit Engage Comox Valley.

Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan

Proposed Project Timeline:

CVRD staff have identified a three step process to explore the potential establishment of a regional parks service. 

Phase One: A Background Study - Complete

In early 2022 a regional parks background study was presented to the Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, Village of Cumberland, and the CVRD. The study, which describes how other regions have structured their parks services and the difference between regional parks and other types of park, was intended to help local governments understand what a regional parks service could look like in the Comox Valley. 

After reviewing the background study and hearing from the regional parks working group, each of the region's Municipal Councils and the CVRD Board expressed their support for the establishment of a regional parks service in spring of 2022.

Regional Parks Background Study Report
 

Phase Two: Service Establishment -  Complete

The Comox Valley Regional District formally established a Regional Parks Service on September 29th, 2022. The Service was established with consent of region's Municipal Councils and a full regulatory review by the Province and the CVRD Board. The Regional Parks and Trails Service bylaw (No. 719) defines the governance model, funding and operational structures, and regulatory requirements for the  service.

Phase Three: Strategic Planning - In Progress

The Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan will be underway between spring 2023 and fall 2024. The process will explore questions like:

  • What are the key characteristics and criteria we will use to evaluate opportunities for future regional parks and trails in the Comox Valley?
  • What are key areas of interest and opportunity?
  • How do we balance different interests (e.g., conservation and recreation)?
  • How do we prioritize and distribute future regional parks and trails across our region?

Through this process, the CVRD will work with K’ómoks First Nation, the member municipalities, interest groups, and community members. Engagement input will help establish criteria and priorities to guide the identification, planning, development, and operation of future regional parks and trails.
For project details and engagement opportunities, please visit the Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan Project Page.