Valleys 2000 unveils ambitious plan for Bowmanville Zoo lands

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Published April 25, 2023 at 10:34 am

 

A natural amphitheatre, outdoor classrooms, trails and abundant wildlife habitats are all part of the vision a local non-profit group tasked with protecting and promoting green space in Bowmanville has for the former Bowmanville Zoo lands.

Valleys 200, which hired The Planning Partnership – a leading landscape architect that designed Evergreen Brickworks Park in Toronto – to create a high-level concept for the lands, unveiled its vision to Clarington councillors at a special planning and development committee meeting Monday.

“Many of us have fond memories of The Bowmanville Zoo. When 34 acres of these lands were given to the Municipality of Clarington for public use, we saw an opportunity to help create a bold and ambitious vision for a municipal park that will attract residents from across Clarington and beyond,” said Ron Strike, President of Valleys 2000. “Our vision for this space will honour the history of the lands, protect the natural environment, expand Bowmanville’s trail system, and create new cultural and community spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

Key features of the design vision include:

  • Community and cultural components: including a natural amphitheater for outdoor performance space, recreation and playground spaces, picnic areas and public art honouring the legacy of the Bowmanville Zoo.
  • Educational elements: including outdoor classrooms and a community demonstration garden area for ecology and urban agriculture.
  • Natural features: with a focus on protecting and enhancing Soper Creek’s ecological health, the plan also includes ponds, meadows and woodlands to provide habitat and protection for birds, pollinators, fish and other wildlife.
  • Trails: providing important connections both within the park and as part of the larger Soper Creek Trail system, contributing to Valleys 2000’s vision for a Resilient Circle of Green.

The Planning Partnership hosted a meeting last fall with Valleys 2000 board members, municipal staff and community leaders, including representatives from Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, which helped inform the proposed plan.

As part of its proposed Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the Municipality of Clarington’s next phase of planning will assess the feasibility, scope, costing, and phasing of implementation.

Valleys 2000 has committed to fundraise to support the park’s development through donations, corporate sponsorships and exploring the possibilities for provincial and federal grants and funding.
View the full Bowmanville Zoo Land Park Concept Report.

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