About PSPS

Like other park associations in the Regional Park Partners program, we act as the public steward of the Park.  We provide a way for groups and individuals who enjoy the park to meet, coordinate activities, educate the public, raise funds for special events and recruit members and volunteers.  
We hold a vision of an urban forest and foreshore park protected and cared for in perpetuity for the benefit of all. To make that vision a reality, we work with Metro Vancouver to develop programs and organize events designed to:
    · protect the natural environment of the park
    · maintain recreational use that
        is in harmony with nature
    · promote stewardship activities

The Basics:
-PSPS is a non-profit society (Reg. December 16, 1998, File Number S-39205) 

-we operate in Pacific Spirit Regional Park

-we are part of the Metro Vancouver Parks Partnership Program (Letter of Intent, 2004, renewed 2007)

Our Purposes  (from our bylaws)
-advise Metro Vancouver parks on protection, care,
planning and operation of Pacific Spirit Park
-promote preservation and protection
of natural resources in the park
-encourage recreational use that is in harmony
with natural preservation
-promote public awareness by developing programs, projects and events in conjunction with
Metro V Parks and other interested parties
-support goals of Society by raising funds
-maintain broadly-based, inclusive society
with a representative and active board

Our Structure
-    Membership free and open to all park users
-Board of Directors (7-20 members) is elected by the Membership at an Annual General Meeting
-    Executive (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) elected by the Board

Our Liaison with Metro Vancouver
-    representation on Metro V Regional Parks Forum
-    fund-raising through Pacific Parklands Foundation
-    day-to-day collaboration with Metro Vancouver staff in the park
-    financial support from Metro V through Allocation Grants

In 1996 a group of over 60 people met at the Dunbar Community Centre to hear a proposal from the GVRD Parks Department about a partnership and fund raising initiative it was undertaking. From the start of the Regional Park system, community groups were encouraged to be involved in parks and by 1995 there were 260 groups involved across the region; over 35 groups were identified in Pacific Spirit alone.
GVRD Parks Department wanted to see if an inclusive society could be formed in each park to speak on behalf of citizens.

When one looks across the GVRD (now Metro Vancouver) system there are many examples of hatcheries, restored heritage buildings, a multi-million dollar indoor camp for health challenged youth all built with funds raised by various community groups. The Metro V. Parks Department hoped that a “synergy” would occur when inclusive park societies were formed so that they could access funding not available to Metro V. in the community, to continue adding to parks. In exchange for raising funds and contributing “sweat equity” societies were included in the planning process for parks as the representative of the community at large. In exchange they pledged to develop inclusive and representative societies (2.7 in PSPS Constitution). 

For about 18 months 17 people met every month to develop the bylaw and constitution of the Pacific Spirit “Partnership” Society. These 17 people represented all of the various user groups who were active in the park at the time; the diversity of the group lead to some very spirited debates. Meetings often led to mini discussion groups in parking lots after. What was amazing at the end everyone could agree on the final documents as the group reached consensus. 

The interesting story about the name of the society; the name was selected by a secret ballot with 9 voting for Pacific Spirit Partnership Society and 8 for Pacific Spirit Park Society. When the name was submitted the government we were given the option of the current name or Pacific Sprit Park Partnership Society. Given this choice, it became a clear consensus for Pacific Spirit Park Society; few people could wrap their tongues around the longer name.

Volume 1 Number 1 of the Pacific Spirit newsletter of PSPS dated September 1997 uses the original name of the society.