Who Are We?
Friends of Hastings Park is a coalition of community members (both groups and individuals) who regularly use Hastings Park. Some of us have spent decades advocating for Hastings Park to become a real community park. We have held our own public meetings, and undertaken actions such as weekly Stands at Hastings Park in order to raise public awareness of this important community issue.
Now that Vancouver’s City Council has approved a Master Plan for Hastings Park, we are dedicated to ongoing advocacy for a community vision of Hastings Park. In particular, we are very concerned that our park is not governed by our publicly elected Parks Board, and currently has no public input to its governing body (see our Goals from earlier public meetings).
We welcome all groups and individuals who want a green Hastings Park for all to enjoy. For more information or to join us, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Goals of the Friends of Hastings Park:
1. To stop the further commercialization of Hastings Park.
Vancouver City’s 20 year Master Plan for Hastings Park will further commercialize the most commercialized park in the city. The Plan will renovate and build more rental buildings and fence off extensive acreage by doubling Playland. We want Playland contained within its current footprint.
2. To implement community improvements as a priority in the Master Plan for Hastings Park.
The community has identified several priorities that must be the first changes made to the park:
- Free, public access to the grounds all year
- Publicly accountable governance
- A more natural habitat, including uncovering the natural stream that runs under the property
- a green, pedestrian/cycling link to New Brighton Park, the Trans Canada Trail and existing bike routes, and improved transit links in general to reduce traffic congestion
- Cultural, arts and family-oriented venues with affordable, diverse events
- A community centre inside the park
3. To return governance of Hastings Park to the publicly elected Parks Board.
Hastings Park is the only Vancouver Park not controlled by the Board of Parks and Recreation. It is not acceptable for the City Council and the PNE Board to control Hastings Park for the financial benefit of the PNE. The Parks Board, a body elected by and accountable to citizens, should oversee future improvements and maintenance at Hastings Park as it does in all other city parks.
4. To create public access on public land.
Inviting, traffic calmed entrances from all sides of the park are essential. There is no clear entrance to the park despite its beautiful setting and views of the mountains. People that enter Vancouver daily from Highway #1 and commuters on Hastings and McGill Streets see only billboards, buildings, poorly tended landscaping, fences and gates. Hastings Park requires visible signs and must be clearly accessible, so that passersby know how to enter and enjoy its beauty.
5. To support a Master Plan for a “Fair within a Park”.
Friends of Hastings Park supports the 2004 plan to maintain the PNE as a 17 day, “Fair within a Park”. For the other 50 weeks of the year, the priority must be free, accessible and green spaces for the enjoyment of the public.
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