Everett Crowley Park

The Key to Unlocking Urban Park Health: Using a Streamlined Approach to Urban Park Assessments to Determine Ecological Health 

Farbod Behsahd, Noah Bircher, Srishti Kumar, Jessica Thandi, and Ann Tony

Objectives 

The objectives of this project are to develop a methodology that can be used to assess the ecological condition of NMAs in Vancouver, and to subsequently assess whether the chosen NMA is in poor, fair, or healthy condition. The objectives of our study were to determine the ecological integrity, an extension of ecological health, of microenvironments within Everett Crowley Park. Ideally, the results of our study would provide insight on which areas in the park need more restoration work, and where to target this restoration work so that it is more effective.

Recommendations

The proposed framework is versatile in its execution and scope. To tailor it to specific park ecologies, we make the following recommendations. Firstly, variables such as water and air pollution can be added if they are of importance to other NMAs. We also recommend that further in-depth research be done in defining the microenvironment of the selected NMA to include more factors such as temperature, vegetation type, and land use. This would result in a more accurate alignment between canopy cover maps and canopy cover reality in the field. Further, we suggest vegetation sampling occur in the spring when the majority of species are in bloom. We recommend that plots be charted and evaluated each year due to the rapid growth of invasive species and that large areas of invasive species are mapped for future research.

Based on the findings of this project, there are a few ways to improve the ecological functionality of Everett Crowley Park. Large amounts of blackberry in the study area are creating areas of inaccessibility, therefore, we recommend that there is continued removal of invasive species and replanting of native species by trained locals, volunteers, and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. This will aid in future sampling efforts, increase biodiversity where at the moment there is barely any, and prevent the fast spread of invasive species. To reduce human disturbance and protect all the restored areas, we recommend that efforts be taken to reduce off-trail human and dog compaction. Areas which are easily accessible and do not have many invasive species should be prioritized before areas where natural barriers such as trees prevent entrance.

Research Poster 

Final Report