Why aren’t the animals coming back?
The Queen’s Park petting farm has been in place since 1960. Since that time, what we know about animal welfare practices have changed. The current space is no longer adequate for the type of livestock that are housed in farm each season. Additionally, the number of visitors to the farm has increased substantially over the years creating increased stress on the animals.
The comfort and care of the animals has always been the City’s top priority. Our farm staff have always provided the best possible care to our animals, but we know going forward that the current space has become insufficient.
Why can’t we just expand the existing farm?
Expanding the current farm footprint would involve taking over existing park space such as the spray park. Park space in New Westminster is valuable and taking away existing, highly-utilized space for a farm that is in operation for only three months of the year would not be efficient use of park space.
Where did the animals go?
Each season, the farm animals were loaned to us by Aldor Acres Family Farm located in Langley, BC. We encourage everyone to visit this family-owned farm that offers hand-on farming education and animal experiences.
It seems the decision to not bring back the animals has already been made. If so, what is the purpose of this engagement? What can the community provide input on?
Yes, City staff and Council are committed to moving away from the traditional petting farm use and no longer keeping livestock in the park. While that part of the decision has been made, how the space will be used in the future has not been decided.
The City is looking for suggestions and ideas from community members on NEW activities and programming for this unique spot in Queen’s Park.
What’s going to happen with the space moving forward?
For the summer 2021 season, the space will be activated in a variety of ways including an outdoor art gallery, performances, and creative activities. Click here for more info.
The City is also currently pursuing a possible pilot project starting in Fall 2021 related to food security and learning opportunities for local food production in the farm space.
Beyond these near-term uses and possibilities, the future of the farm is open for new ideas. Please share your thoughts with us!
Are the opportunities for partnerships with community groups and organizations?
Yes. Please share your ideas in the forum, or send us an email!
Are you open to reconfiguring the space?
While the existing footprint will remain as is, we are open to removing pens and some of the interior structures to better accommodate future activities proposed for the space.