BC's Parks: A Tour Guide for Central Park


History- Hazel
  • Was once a naval reserve
  • Set aside as a source of masts and spars of ships for the royal navy 
  • The park was named to honour Mrs. David Oppenheimer 
  • The wife of Vancouver’s second mayor 
  • BUT NOW Central Park's primary attractions: 
  • Is the large proportion of its land reserved as a well-preserved temperate rain forest ecosystem 
  • Numerous walking trails 
  • Award-winning children's playground 
  • Pitch and putt golf 
  • Outdoor swimming facility
  • A lawn bowling facility 
  • Small duck ponds 
Ecology- Jackie 
  • It is a temperate rainforest 
  • Park was logged in the 1890’s 
  • Stumps remain 
  • Stumps decay and provide nutrients 
  • ^Are used as nursing logs for many trees→ mainly Western Hemlock
  • Habitat for young plants while protecting them from acidic conditions on the forest floor 
  • Park has man made lakes and streams 

Native Species- Kenneth/Jackie 
  • Birds: Most of the bird species in Central Park are attracted by berry producing shrubs 
  • Woodpeckers: Live in wooded areas in the forest, where they tap on tree trunks in order to find insects living in crevices in the bark and to excavate nest cavities. Some species drum on trees to communicate to other woodpeckers and as a part of their courtship behavior. The holes in the trees would be considered as evidence of this species. ive shorter calls that sound like wuk, wuk or cuk, cuk.
  • Bushtit: Bushtits are fairly plain brown-and-gray birds.They are sprightly, social songbirds that twitter as they fly weakly between shrubs and thickets. Bushtits live in open woods or scrubby areas, particularly pine-oak woodlands and chaparral, as well as suburbs and parks.
  • Hummingbirds: There are many different types of hummingbirds, considering that are over 300 different species of them! Hummingbirds are small, colorful birds with iridescent feathers. Their name comes from the fact that they flap their wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise.They have a specialized long and tapered bill that is used to obtain nectar from the center of long, tubular flowers. The hummingbird’s feet are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking. live in many types of landscapes, including temperate woodlands, mountain meadows, cloud forests, tropical rainforests, and deserts. Hummingbird habitats consistently include an abundance of flowers, which more recently can be found in many urban and suburban gardens. 
  • Barn Owls: Barn Owls are silent predators of the night. They are lanky, with a whitish face, chest and belly. They are rarely visible, hidden, and quiet during the daytime. You can find them by listening for their eerie, raspy calls, quite unlike the hoots of other owls. Evidence that we can use to identify that they Barn Owl can be located in Central Park is the “White Stuff” that is stained in the bark of trees, which is the owl’s waste.
  • Mammals: 
  • Douglas squirrels: Can be reddish grey or brownish grey and are small in size (10.5 - 14 inches in length). In North America’s West Coast, the squirrel lives in coniferous forests and relies on the seeds from trees such as, Douglas fir and sitka spruce, for food. When dangers or predators approach in the forest, the squirrel releases a call to warn other animals. 
  • Coyotes: The coyote has grayish-brown to yellowish-brown fur on top and whitish fur on its underparts. It has large triangular ears on the top of its head and a long, narrow muzzle. It has a black nose; yellow eyes; and a long, bushy tail. One way to tell the coyote apart from wolves and dogs is to watch its tail when it runs. Coyotes are known for how well they adapt to different habitats. They can even be found living in and around large cities, parks, and many more. 

Invasive Species- Gurleen 
  • Animals: 
  • Common Grey squirrels: “it has depleted populations of native squirrels throughout-competition and disease (parapoxvirus), and displaces native birds of their nesting habitat, eating the bird's’ eggs and nestlings. It also competes with native mice and voles.”
  • American Bullfrogs: “The biggest threat bullfrogs pose after establishing themselves in a water body is the elimination of native frog species through both predation and competition. Their considerable impact begins with their preferred food, other frogs — particularly young ones — though they happily consume crayfish, salamanders, snails, snakes, turtles, birds and even small mammals.” they were brought here because thought they could start a frog leg industry but failed so they released them.
  • European fire ants: “European fire ants are introduced and spread through garden and landscape materials, such as potted plants, mulch and soil. Under certain conditions, the European fire ant reacts quickly and aggressively to ground disturbance, delivering a painful sting described to be nearly as painful as a wasp sting. New colonies establish near the original site in a process called “budding” as one or more queens and a group of workers leave to start another colony. If fire ants invade a recreational area—such as a park or golf course—the area may be rendered impassable, and unsuitable to the public. European fire ants are omnivorous and eat both plant and decaying animal matter. Worker ants collect food sources by means of foraging and then bringing collected specimens back to the colony, where the food is fed to the larvae of the colony. The mature larvae are the only larva able to digest whole foods.”
  • European Chafer Beetle: The European chafer beetle are around 1.5cm in length. The invasive species reproduces rapidly and chews away at many roots of plants, such as grass, and turf. In this process, the plants attacked by the beetle is being destroyed. Infestations of this plant can lead to wilted or dead turf, brown and “spongy” feeling grass, and draw interest to animals such as birds, skunks, and other predators. 

Native Plants-Jacky
  • Dominated by:
  • Douglas fir -Deep and thick lumpy  ridged bark, rat tail looking cones, dented areas for bats to stay

  • Western hemlock - Flat ridged bark, scaly cones, needle like leaves

  • Western red cedar- Scale like leaves, egg shaped cones. Grey stringy bark

  • Vine maple- Crooked small trunk, thin grey bark, maple-looking leaves

  • Spruce- Thin brown bark that peels into scales, sharp needle-like leaves(some attached to their cones)

  • Birch- Thin papery bark that peels, egg-shaped leaves

  • Elderberry- Yellowish spots on the leaves(rubbing it should smell like peanut butter)


  • Salmonberry - Maple like leaf is formed with three leaflets,  deciduous shrub, ripened berries are yellowish

  • Huckleberry - Elliptical leaves held together on a long stem, bell shaped flowers and red berries bloom

  • Thimbleberry - Dome shaped berries, very similar to raspberries, very broad maple shaped leaves

  • Trailing blackberry - Edible , dark berries, dark green leaves

Invasive Plants (4 Examples) - Emet
Invasive species= Species which are NON native and can create negative effects on an area’s ecosystem.
  • English Holly- Small round red berries, green glossy egg-shaped leaves with sharp/ jagged edges
  • English Ivy- Can grow around trees, and forest floor. The leaf has essentially 5 points and somewhat resembles a maple leaf shape. The top can be glossy or dull.
  • Butterfly-bush: A vibrant and long cluster of small flowers with green tapered leaves.
  • Japanese knotweed: As a red/ brown bamboo like stem with branches at the top. The branches have many green egg shaped leaves that slightly “ruffle” at the sides.

Adaptations of Plants and Animals
  • Woodpeckers have thickened front skull used to withstand pecking 
  • CROWS use breadcrumbs to bait fish 
  • “ been observed to drop very hard nuts into a street and wait for them to be crushed by passing cars. 
  • Towhees pick up a piece of twig, bark, or leaf and carry it around as an indication of submission 
  • Bushtits weave a very unusual hanging nest, shaped like a soft pouch or sock, from moss, spider webs, and grasses 
  • Barn owl feathers are adapted for silent flight, usually sleep in trees or washrooms 
  • Hummingbirds won’t drink any fermented (sweet turned alcoholic) drink