Nicomekl Riverfront Park

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We acknowledge that Surrey and the Nicomekl Riverfront Park are on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish people, including Katzie, Kwantlen and Semiahmoo First Nations.


A Park for People, Wildlife and Water

Surrey has over 800 parks and one park is uniquely adapting to climate change by making room for the river, the future Nicomekl Riverfront Park. Located on the south side of the Nicomekl River in South Surrey, this 3-km linear park will extend from Elgin Rd to 40th Ave. 80 acres in size, the future nature park will be 14x larger than Crescent Beach Park. The park will have two large park spaces, the Hadden Mill and Oxbow zones (phase 1), located on either side of King George Boulevard.

The park will combine environmental, cultural, art, heritage, recreation and social spaces. A nature-based design approach will protect flora, fauna, creeks and the park’s natural water system. Based on Surrey's Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy, the park will turn planning into action to address sea level rise and coastal flooding.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.


Phasing

Designing and constructing an 80-acre nature park along one of Surrey’s major river systems is complex and innovative work with numerous long-term benefits. Which is why Surrey is investing in the future Nicomekl Riverfront Park! The park will be built in 3 phases over multiple years:

Illustration Map for Nicomekl Riverfront Park. Phase 1: The West, Phase 2: The Centre, Phase 3: The East


Park Goals

With your feedback (thank you!) we completed the Park Management Plan and it was adopted by Council in spring 2020. The plan is a guiding document for the design and construction of the park. See the plan and companion reports in the Planning Documents (right).

Vision Statement

The Nicomekl Riverfront Park will link, restore and amplify the unique ecological park zones along the Nicomekl River into a coherent, resilient and beautiful riverfront park experience that layers ecology, history, art, recreation and gathering spaces for young and old, throughout all seasons.

Planning Principles

  • Protect, restore, enhance and increase ecological corridors, patches, tree canopy and shoreline complexity and increase biodiversity and resiliency
  • Engage with First Nations and the public to work toward Reconciliation
  • Create access to the river
  • Express histories and stories through public art, interpretation, materials, and design elements
  • Provide engaging opportunities for all ages and abilities
  • Balance ecology with park amenities and programs
  • Connect to the greater land and water systems
  • Address sea level rise
  • Celebrate unique qualities of each park zone while connecting them into one continuous riparian experience


Get involved in spring 2022

The next opportunity to get involved and share your feedback is in spring 2022 when we present the phase 1 detailed park concept plan. At that time we will present visuals and renderings to show you what the park will look like. Until then, follow along here on the project page or subscribe to receive email updates.

We acknowledge that Surrey and the Nicomekl Riverfront Park are on the unceded traditional territory of the Coast Salish people, including Katzie, Kwantlen and Semiahmoo First Nations.


A Park for People, Wildlife and Water

Surrey has over 800 parks and one park is uniquely adapting to climate change by making room for the river, the future Nicomekl Riverfront Park. Located on the south side of the Nicomekl River in South Surrey, this 3-km linear park will extend from Elgin Rd to 40th Ave. 80 acres in size, the future nature park will be 14x larger than Crescent Beach Park. The park will have two large park spaces, the Hadden Mill and Oxbow zones (phase 1), located on either side of King George Boulevard.

The park will combine environmental, cultural, art, heritage, recreation and social spaces. A nature-based design approach will protect flora, fauna, creeks and the park’s natural water system. Based on Surrey's Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy, the park will turn planning into action to address sea level rise and coastal flooding.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.


Phasing

Designing and constructing an 80-acre nature park along one of Surrey’s major river systems is complex and innovative work with numerous long-term benefits. Which is why Surrey is investing in the future Nicomekl Riverfront Park! The park will be built in 3 phases over multiple years:

Illustration Map for Nicomekl Riverfront Park. Phase 1: The West, Phase 2: The Centre, Phase 3: The East


Park Goals

With your feedback (thank you!) we completed the Park Management Plan and it was adopted by Council in spring 2020. The plan is a guiding document for the design and construction of the park. See the plan and companion reports in the Planning Documents (right).

Vision Statement

The Nicomekl Riverfront Park will link, restore and amplify the unique ecological park zones along the Nicomekl River into a coherent, resilient and beautiful riverfront park experience that layers ecology, history, art, recreation and gathering spaces for young and old, throughout all seasons.

Planning Principles

  • Protect, restore, enhance and increase ecological corridors, patches, tree canopy and shoreline complexity and increase biodiversity and resiliency
  • Engage with First Nations and the public to work toward Reconciliation
  • Create access to the river
  • Express histories and stories through public art, interpretation, materials, and design elements
  • Provide engaging opportunities for all ages and abilities
  • Balance ecology with park amenities and programs
  • Connect to the greater land and water systems
  • Address sea level rise
  • Celebrate unique qualities of each park zone while connecting them into one continuous riparian experience


Get involved in spring 2022

The next opportunity to get involved and share your feedback is in spring 2022 when we present the phase 1 detailed park concept plan. At that time we will present visuals and renderings to show you what the park will look like. Until then, follow along here on the project page or subscribe to receive email updates.

  • City Awards Design Contract for Phase One of Nicomekl Riverfront Park

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    July 29, 2021, Surrey, BC

    The City of Surrey awards the contract for the design services for phase one of the Nicomekl Riverfront Park to a multidisciplinary consulting team led by space2place design inc. Phase one includes the development of the Hadden Mill and Oxbow zones, which are on the south side of the Nicomekl River adjacent to King George Boulevard.

    The Nicomekl Riverfront Park is a park for the future. It will be developed over multiple years as a multi-phased project. When complete, it will be a 3km long, 80-acre riverfront park incorporating ecology, heritage, public art, recreation, infrastructure and innovative adaptations to climate change and sea level rise.

    The Nicomekl Riverfront Park is also one of 13 Surrey project components to be partially funded through the Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), a program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts. In 2019, the City secured $76.6 million in federal funding to supplement a series of projects to reduce Surrey’s coastal flood risk and adapt to sea level rise. $4 million has been allocated to the Nicomekl Riverfront Park project.

    “As part of our collective actions against climate change, it is important that we invest to protect communities from extreme weather conditions, such as flooding and other natural hazards,” said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “The Nicomekl Riverfront Park is a great solution to increasing Surrey’s resilience to flooding while also enhancing the area’s unique ecological features in response to the aspirations expressed through public consultations in 2018 and 2019 by local residents and First Nations. Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates good jobs across Canada, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

    “Nicomekl Riverfront Park will provide Surrey residents with increased opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy nature while enhancing ecology and habitat connectivity and also addressing the impacts of sea level rise and climate change,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “By investing in nature-based green infrastructure now, we are protecting our community, economy and environments from future flood risks. We thank the Government of Canada and the many partners who are supporting this important project.”

    To learn more about the City of Surrey’s Nicomekl Riverfront Park project visit surrey.ca/nicomeklpark.

    For more information on federal infrastructure funding, visit: infrastructure.gc.ca.

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  • Surrey’s Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy Honoured with Two National Awards

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    October 1, 2020, Surrey, BC

    Surrey's Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy received national recognition from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) for excellence in environmental planning. The City is taking action on this award-winning strategy with 13 projects funded in part by the Government of Canada, including the Nicomekl Riverfront Park.

    “Our CFAS plan is making historic investments to protect and improve the environment and natural infrastructure our residents depend on,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “These awards demonstrate our unwavering commitment to building Surrey’s resilience to coastal flooding and sea level rise, further protecting our communities, economy and environment.”

    The City was presented the 2020 CAMA Environment Award, in the 100,000+ population category, during the Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held on October 1, 2020. CAMA’s Environment Award recognizes the commitment of environmentally sustainable governance in combating climate change. Surrey’s CFAS was honoured for making a positive impact on the environment by presenting innovative nature-based solutions to flood control and prioritizing the environment as a key value in the decision-making process in developing the strategy.

    This award follows recognition from the Canadian Institute of Planners’ awards on July 8, 2020, with CFAS receiving the Award of Merit for Planning Excellence for Climate Change Planning. Honouring planning projects on their excellence, innovation, impact on the profession and implementation potential, CFAS was praised for developing actions with a comprehensive, community-driven approach. The jury highlighted Surrey’s method in engaging citizens and stakeholders using a range of innovative planning techniques to help increase understanding of technically complex challenges.

    The City is taking action on this award-winning strategy with 13 projects funded in part by the Government of Canada. Learn more at surrey.ca/coastaltakingaction.

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  • Nicomekl Riverfront Park Management Plan wins a Gold Award from the Planning Institute of British Columbia

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    June 25, 2020, Surrey, BC

    The Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC) has awarded Surrey’s Nicomekl Riverfront Park Management Plan with the 2020 Gold Award for Excellence in Planning Practice for a City & Urban Area. The PIBC awards are presented annually in recognition of the professional planning work and accomplishments of members across British Columbia and Yukon.

    “The City of Surrey is committed to creating a healthy, green, and inclusive community for our residents and we are honoured to receive this award from the Planning institute of British Columbia,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Improving the quality of life for our residents through visionary parks, recreation and culture planning is a continual work in progress and we are always working on how we can better improve on this front.”

    The Nicomekl Riverfront Park Management Plan is a bold, adaptive management plan for a unique collage of riverfront parkland in Surrey. Combining numerous disciplines and strategies, it sets the vision and future for a resilient, diverse and collaborative gem in the overall City park network.

    The plan balances biodiversity, ecological protection and enhancement with public access to, along and on the river while integrating public art, heritage, recreation, education and Indigenous stories throughout. The plan is a long-range vision for the riverfront and designed to be a living document throughout all phases of park planning, design, construction and management.

    The Nicomekl Riverfront Park is one of the 13 Disaster, Adaptation & Mitigation (DMAF) projects to reduce Surrey’s vulnerability to coastal flooding and increase community resilience, safety and health, partially funded by the Government of Canada.

    Detailed design of the riverfront park is commencing with construction anticipated to begin in 2023.

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  • Canada helps protect Surrey from disastrous impacts of flooding

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    May 24, 2019, Surrey, BC

    Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change. Reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and the middle class.

    Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced funding to support a number of initiatives to safeguard the cities of Surrey and Delta and the Semiahmoo First Nation from the potentially disastrous impacts of coastal flooding.

    The investment of over $76 million through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund will allow the regional governments, in partnership with the Semiahmoo First Nation, to implement a comprehensive flood adaptation strategy that will increase resilience for over 125,000 residents who are at high risk of coastal flooding, and provide significant long-term savings on recovery and replacement costs.

    Key components of the project include replacing the aging Nicomekl and Serpentine sea dams, upgrading 7.5 kilometres of the Colebrook dyke, establishing a riverfront park on the Nicomekl River with natural flood-attenuating features, installing 1.5 new kilometres of storm sewers, upgrading two pump stations and building two new “living dykes”.

    Other work will be carried out including innovative nature based solutions developed through collaboration such as foreshore enhancements in the City of Delta, upgrades to Mud Bay Park and building a new park on the Nicomekl River to help control and disperse flood waters, while safeguarding the health of the Pacific Flyway and marine environment. These natural areas link with transportation upgrades such as raising 152nd Street to make it more flood resilient, and replacing the bridges over the Nicomekl River and the Little Campbell River.

    Once complete, these projects will significantly increase the region’s resiliency to flooding and provide residents with peace of mind knowing their community can continue to thrive through any situation.


    Quotes

    “The Government of Canada is proud to support this comprehensive strategy to build flood resilience on the Semihmoo First Nation and in the communities of Surrey and Delta. Investing today will reduce future recovery costs and prevent critical infrastructure failures. These investments create good, well-paying middle class jobs, and set the stage for long-term economic growth that benefits everyone.”

    The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility on behalf of The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities


    “Extreme weather is becoming more severe, more frequent, more damaging and more expensive because of climate change. By investing in the infrastructure that protects our neighbourhoods, businesses, and families, we are building communities that can withstand future natural disasters and thrive for generations to come.”

    The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety


    “Our government is committed to investing in projects that support a more strategic and sustainable approach to planning, building and maintaining public infrastructure in response to the impacts of climate change. Working together with our regional and First Nations partners, we are finding ways to keep people and their properties safe. This flood adaptation strategy will increase resilience and help build for the future.”

    Gordie Hogg, Member of Parliament for South Surrey—White Rock


    “With 20% of Surrey’s land within the coastal floodplain area, it is vital that we take action now. I want to thank the Federal Government for the significant investment they have made today in helping us fight climate change. As a result of this new funding, the City of Surrey along with all of our partners will be able to increase and enhance the work we are doing to protect our coastal areas from flooding and other natural hazards.

    Mayor Doug McCallum, City of Surrey


    Quick facts

    • The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.
    • DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities
    • Investing in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the intensifying effects of climate change is an integral part of Canada’s transition to a more resilient, low-carbon economy, which is among the commitments made under the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
    • Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, is the federal government’s plan to create more well-paying jobs, put home ownership within reach for more Canadians, help working people get the training they need to succeed, support seniors and lay the foundation for national pharmacare.
    • With many municipalities across Canada facing serious infrastructure deficits, Budget 2019 includes a one-time top-up of $2.2 billion to the federal Gas Tax Fund to help address short-term priorities in municipalities and First Nations communities.
    • Budget 2019 builds on the Investing in Canada Plan, under which the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in community infrastructure across the country.


    Associated links

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  • Rising Tides are Predictable, and the City of Surrey isn’t Waiting

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    February 22, 2018, Surrey, BC

    With global sea levels rising, coastal communities like Surrey face a significant challenge. While the coastal flooding threat is not imminent, it is predicted that the sea level will rise by one metre in 2100, and two metres by 2200, which is why the time to plan is now. Surrey has taken a leading position to proactively advance efforts aimed at increasing community resiliency, safety and health.

    The City of Surrey’s Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS) is a participatory, community-driven planning approach to exploring the impacts of climate change on Surrey’s coastline, and the long-term adaption options available to the City.

    “The complexity and cost of coastal flood protection issues are significant,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “By getting ahead of the issue, and setting a direction now for where we want to be in 100 years, we are positioning Surrey to make smarter investments in the protection of residential neighbourhoods, businesses, significant habitat areas and provincially critical infrastructure.”

    Following a year-long consultation to understand community values and concerns, the 3 year project is now completing its 3rd Phase where several options are being evaluated on technical, social, cultural and ecological criteria. Next, a small number of robust, broadly supported adaptation strategies will be refined based on cost, funding and partnerships.

    The latest work being done with CFAS examines the potential solutions for Mud Bay. A public survey and further round of engagement which will inform the Project’s final recommendations is now being launched to obtain feedback on a range of options from a mega engineering project to managed retreat. The public is encouraged to participate and contribute their ideas by completing the following survey.

    Today, the City of Surrey manages the largest flood control system (dykes and sea dams) in British Columbia. However, these historic drainage controls were not designed to protect its coastline from the forecasted climate change.

    Learn more about the City of Surrey’s Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy.

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Page last updated: 08 September 2021, 09:30