World Water Day and Stanley Park

Fresh water is the lifeblood of Stanley Park, although much of it goes unnoticed. Lost Lagoon and Beaver Lake are two of the most popular places for visitors to the Park, but they’re only a small part of the network of waterways that crisscross the Park.

These areas are an amazing mix of habitats, pools, stream banks, bogs and the seashore habitats where the streams reach the sea. Each of these areas is home to their own unique species: salamanders on the shaded stream banks, carnivorous sundew plants in the bogs and mussels at the shoreline.

Trumpeter swan at Beaver Lake (Photo: Peter Wood)

Unfortunately this fresh water is under threat. It’s one of the most threatened habitats in the Park. What are the threats? Invasive aquatic plants can overwhelm natural vegetation. In Beaver Lake the fragrant water lilies are slowly choking the lake and contributing to it rapidly filling in. Introduced species like Himalayan blackberry and yellow flag iris are also common in wet areas of the Park.

Pollution from vehicles on the Causeway also present a threat with vehicle emissions residues entering the Park’s waterways and lakes. How can you help? SPES works to preserve these habitats, removing invasive species, planting native species, and conducting even larger projects to protect and restore old stream routes through the forest. All these projects need volunteers, so if you’re interested check out our volunteer opportunities at

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