Hastings Park – to get a new governance model
Friends of Hastings Park have urged City Council to start the “Governance Review” they voted for last December in the Master Plan for Hastings Park. This process will ultimately determine what body controls the city’s second largest park. There have been long standing community concerns regarding the governance of this park. The PNE Board has had control of the park on an ‘interim’ basis. Hastings Park is the only Vancouver park not governed by the Board of Parks and Recreation.
Friends of Hastings Park met with six councillors this summer. “We need a public body in charge of the park. Public access and public accountability are essential for this public land,” said Gale Tyler of the Friends of Hastings Park. “The PNE Board’s job is to take care of the PNE business and their meetings and agendas are closed to the public. We need a new model that is open and accountable to the public”, she stated.
Councillors Anton, Deal, Louie, Meggs, Reimer and Woodsworth responded favourably to the proposal by the Friends of Hastings Park. “The process must be public, open and inclusive. Too often, the decisions are made before the public gets input. Open Houses to showcase decisions just don’t cut it. We want to be actively involved in the process,” said Tyler. “We look forward to a City Council motion that initiates such a process,” she said.
“Our dream for Hastings Park is to have it controlled by a public body that promotes arts, culture and recreation activities within the park. Imagine an east side “Round House” with programs that bring people into the park on a regular basis,” said Tyler.
Friends of Hastings Park will begin STANDs at the corner of Renfrew and Hastings every Saturday at 1:00 – 2:00 pm from September 17 – November 12, to inform the public and press City Council to begin the Governance Review of Hastings Park immediately.
STAND for Hastings Park
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Renfrew and Hastings (NE corner)
1:00 to 2:00 pm
Media contact: Linda Shuto