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Vancouver’s buried ‘First Creek’ restored

Vancouver’s buried ‘First Creek’ restored
CITY OF VANCOUVER — A buried creek under Kitsilano’s Tatlow Park in Vancouver has been restored.

VANCOUVER – A long-buried creek under Tatlow Park in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood has been restored after a multi-year project led by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation.

The stream was known centuries ago as “First Creek” and flowed north from what is now West 20th Avenue through Tatlow and Volunteer parks, before entering English Bay, a parks board release said. 

Tatlow Creek is a culturally significant place for the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations due to its proximity to a densely populated coastal village, the release added. Over time as a result of colonial practices and urban development, Tatlow Creek, like many of Vancouver’s streams and creeks, was buried and lost to history.

Work began in 2016 with support from the City of Vancouver engineering team to daylight the creek and connect it to English Bay while improving public access to the beach and shoreline.

“Vancouver’s relationship with its rivers, creeks and waterways has been shaped over several centuries. The daylighting of Tatlow Creek helps reforge our relationship with the city’s natural surroundings and marks an important milestone in our commitment to building a green rainwater infrastructure,” Park Board chair Brennan Bastyovanszky said in a statment.

Staff have also restored and reintroduced habitat for birds, pollinators and aquatic species, along with pollutant tolerant plants to help manage rainwater and cool the area, the release said.

Funding was provided by the City of Vancouver’s Capital Plan and the federal government’s Natural Infrastructure Fund. In 2021, the federal government granted $18.9 million to the City of Vancouver and Park Board to help expedite green rainwater infrastructure projects across the city.

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