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. The proposed design concepts illustrate ideas to remove the existing chain-link fence (i.e. no longer required to keep the animals safe) and creating improved, usable edges that integrate well with other existing park amenities. For example, a small hill and perimeter seating help define the space while providing opportunities to sit, socialize and enjoy viewing the activity within the park.
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 hands-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, the recommendation to move away from a traditional petting farm use and no longer keeping livestock in the park was supported by Council in 2021. While that part of the decision has been made, a conversation with the community on how the space will be used in the future is now underway..
In Phase 1 of engagement, the City was looking for suggestions and ideas from community members on NEW activities and programming for this unique space in Queen’s Park. Based on that feedback, two proposed design concepts (Habitat and Grow) have been developed for the future of the former farm space. The City is now seeking feedback from the community on which elements within each of the two options they would most like to see implemented in Queen’s Park.
What’s going to happen with the space moving forward?
For the summer 2021 and 2022 seasons, the space will be activated in a variety of ways including an outdoor art gallery, performances, and creative activities. Non-profit community organizations also had opportunities to access the space for programming and events.
Starting in 2023, and based on community input through two rounds of engagement, City staff plan to start implementing a long-term future plan for the former farm space. Click here to review the two design concepts and click here to share your feedback through our survey.
Are there opportunities for partnerships with community groups and organizations?
Yes. Please send us an email!
Are you open to reconfiguring the space?
While the existing footprint will remain as is, we are open to removing the perimeter fencing and some of the interior structures to better accommodate future activities proposed for the space.