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Parks Canada and partners take first step toward creating a national urban park in St. John’s

Parks Canada and partners take first step toward creating a national urban park in St. John’s
Parks Canada and partners take first step toward creating a national urban park in St. John’s

A new national city park would make it easier for Canadians to access the outdoors

ST. JOHN’S, NL, July 8, 2024 /CNW/ – Improved access to nature and green spaces near where people live, work and play is essential for their well-being. National city parks are good for biodiversity and are a natural solution to compensate for the effects of climate change.

Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and Danny BreenMayor of St. John’sannounced the signing of a declaration of cooperation confirming their joint commitment to explore options for the establishment of a national urban park in St. John’s.

The new park would provide access to nature and greenery for the residents of St. John’s and visitors and provides opportunities to amplify and celebrate Indigenous voices and stories. It would also create jobs, strengthen the local economy and complement local and regional tourism.

The path to designation of a national city park in St. John’s will be explored over the coming years through meaningful collaboration and cooperation with partners and stakeholders. As potential sites are assessed, possible connections to existing heritage sites managed by Parks Canada, including Signal Hill National Historic Site and Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, may be considered.

National city parks provide habitat for animals, including endangered species, and can serve as critical wildlife corridors. They are great examples of nature-based climate solutions, helping to cool cities and absorb rainwater during extreme weather events. They contribute to Canada’s climate change targets by capturing carbon, and to the government of Canada’s commitment to conserve 30 percent of land and water in Canada by 2030.

As the partnership progresses, Parks Canada and the City of St. John’s will work with other key local and regional organizations and landowners to ensure that the potential park protects nature, connects people with nature, and promotes reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

Quotes

“Improving access to nature and green spaces is essential to the well-being of our communities. The signing of this Declaration of Partnership between Parks Canada and the City of St. John’s is an important step toward creating a national urban park in this beautiful city, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to connect with nature, support local economies, and celebrate indigenous stories. This initiative aligns with our broader commitment to preserve 30 percent of Canada’s land and water by 2030 and demonstrate the power of nature-based solutions in our fight against climate change.”

The Honorable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“A national urban park would be the first of its kind in our province, and an incredible asset to our region. That’s why this Statement of Collaboration is an invaluable first step in a process that will bring our community closer to nature and reconciliation.”

Joanne Thompson
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, Newfoundland And Labrador

“Every action we take to protect our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions matters. Today’s announcement to create more green in the St. John’s area is a positive step towards adapting to our changing climate. I commend the City of St. John’s and the federal government as they work together on this exciting initiative, helping to ensure our province is environmentally sustainable for future generations.”

The Honourable Bernard Davis
Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Newfoundland And Labrador

“The City of St. John’s is pleased to sign this declaration of partnership with Parks Canada, which brings us one step closer to creating a new national urban park for residents, visitors and wildlife to enjoy. This initiative aligns with several of the City of St. John’s goals and priorities. It will help build a more connected city, one where people can connect not only with each other, but also with nature. The national city park will also help advance our sustainability goals and provide a new opportunity to celebrate and honour the diverse cultures, contributions and resilience of indigenous peoples in Canada.”

Danny Breen
Mayor, City of St. John’s

Quick Facts

  • The extensive network of protected areas, managed by Parks Canada, is a gateway to nature, history and 450,000 km² of stories from coast to coast to coast.
  • New national urban parks are managed under a range of flexible governance models, including federally managed places, third-party managed places, and various partnership approaches.
  • Next to the city St. John’sCollaboration is currently underway to designate national city parks in the Victoria region, BC; the Edmonton region, AB; the Saskatoon region, SK; Winnipeg, MB; Windsor, ON; And Halifax, NS. Parks Canada has also held early discussions in the Greater Montreal, QC region.
  • With its well-known network of urban cultural heritage sites and the Rouge National Urban Park, Parks Canada has a strong presence and a long history of conservation in urban areas.

Related Links

SOURCE Parks Canada (Head Office)

Contacts: Kaitlin Power, Press Officer, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-230-1557, (email protected); Media Relations, Parks Canada, 855-862-1812, (email protected); Jackie O’Brien, 709-576-8491, (email protected)