Gardens & Parks to visit in Vancouver during Spring & Summer
The flowers are responding to the milder conditions albeit wet at the moment here on the West coast. This gives us a great opportunity for us to guide you to see where the very best Gardens and Parks are to visit once the rains break and the Sunshine comes back again.
QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK – BLOEDEL CONSERVATORY – VAN DUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS
A jewel that sits in the heart of Vancouver and has incredible views of the city due to its location at 152 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore.
The gardens and the conservatory are located among an old disused quarry which is now home to an extensive array of incredible plants, flowers and trees for you to absorb. You can also enjoy some great recreational time by playing games at the Pitch and Put, Tennis and Bowling lawn. After all that we are pretty sure you will have worked up an appetite – so try out the Seasons in the Park Restaurant https://www.vancouverdine.com/seasons/ Here you will enjoy some incredibly good food that is typically flavored and inspired by the Pacific Northwest.
The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens are situated here http://vandusengarden.org/explore/bloedel-conservatory/
Queen Elizabeth Park: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx
New York has central park yet we have own magical Stanley Park. Stanley Park is huge and right next to the downtown heart of Vancouver with incredible views of English Bay, the North shore Mountains and Bowen island in the distance. The park really makes you understand the complexities of the rain forest area that Vancouver resides in. It is also home to many animals, birds and other incredible wildlife that call this area home. The highlights of the park are the array of trees that make up the park, the Herons nesting site at the Tennis courts and The Lost Lagoon to name but a few.
DR SUN YAT-SEN CHINESE GARDENS
Right in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and adjacent Sun Yat-Sen Park are the perfect urban oasis.
The stunning Garden is an authentic representation of Ming Dynasty-era tradition and the first of its kind outside China. Be enchanted by the Garden’s winding paths, rocks, plants, and beautiful vistas. In the park alongside the Garden, find peace and tranquility in the unique rock forms, water lily-covered pond, pagoda, and lush plants.
UBC BOTANICAL GARDEN & CENTRE FOR PLANT RESEARCH
Located at the historical University of British Columbia Campus these gardens are one of the oldest to be found in Vancouver. During the month of March the Magnolias are what to watch for and my oh my are they responding to the gorgeous weather that we are currently experiencing.
The Great Blue Herons
When you come to visit Vancouver during the Spring this is the perfect time for birdwatchers to see the Blue Herons at their one of their regular nesting homes next to the Tennis courts in Stanley Park Vancouver.
These majestic creatures have made a small area in Stanley Park their natural home for nesting and it is in surprisingly large numbers considering the species is dwindling elsewhere.
During March Vancouver sees the return of the male Herons, the best place to see them are down by the Tennis Courts on Beach Avenue (Which is not too far a walk from the Sunset hotel) the male herons will return to their designated nests where they will hope to attract the females whom arrive a short while later.
Once they do arrive the usual courtship ritual begins, you can spot this when the couples are in their nests and will cross their bills regularly, together they help maintain their nests (some return to the existing ones and like to modernise and spruce them up too).
Come the end of April and early May you will start to see the chicks hatching from their nests, it is quite a sight to see and now is the time to do it.
This location has been a regular home since 1921 there were many nests across the creek in Vanier Park, but now, only a handful remain.
A Webcam has been installed at the sight of the Herons nests at Stanley Park near the Tennis courts and. The heron cam is a remotely controlled wireless camera mounted on the roof of a building near Park Board offices at 2099 Beach Avenue. It gives you a “birds’ eye view” of the drama in the trees.
The heron cam gives you the ultimate close up view of one of North America’s largest urban colonies of Pacific great blue herons. It is a window on the world of these magnificent birds from courtship through egg laying, until the grown chicks fledge in late summer.
Tune in often to watch the drama of new life unfolding in our nests. Spread the word through Twitter using the hashtag #herontalk
The Stanley Park herons typically arrive in February and chicks are generally born in April and there are around 94 or so active nests in the colony, producing around 130 fledgling herons. The baby birds face predators such as eagles and raccoons before they are able to fly.
Over the past century, the abundance of large trees suitable for Great Blue Heron nesting near foraging areas has declined in some parts of British Columbia because of human population growth and industrialization so this is a great way for the public to be aware of these majestic birds and the fact that they are an endangered species, hopefully this will help raise interest and awareness so these Great Herons do not go extinct.
STANLEY PARK ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/