The City of Richmond has officially opened its new Alexandra Park within the Cambie neighbourhood.
“Dynamic parks such as this, which provide amenities for residents to play sports, enjoy a new playground, walk their dogs or simply enjoy nature right here in the city centre are key to making Richmond the most livable and appealing community in Canada” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “The main objectives of the Alexandra Neighbourhood Park design were to preserve the natural character of the existing site, meeting community needs for active recreational opportunities and addressing sustainability and environmental features”.
The park’s ecological features include incorporating existing established trees, shrubs and undergrowth; adding over 80 new trees and more than 2,300 new shrubs and perennials; as well as groundcover plants, wildflower meadows and a new storm water retention pond. The meadows offer important foraging opportunities for resident barn owls in the area.
The park shares its location with the city’s internationally recognized and award-winning Alexandra District Energy Utility – a low carbon energy plant and underground renewable energy source. Renewable energy is extracted from the earth at the location from more than 300 vertical boreholes, each 250 feet deep, using ground-source heat pumps and geo-exchange technology. These provide heating and cooling for over 2.5 million square feet of space in the surrounding buildings. The colourful utility plant also offers public washrooms, an overhang for rain shelter for park users, along with nesting boxes for local barn owls.