Park board’s website shuts down, becomes part of City of Vancouver's new site
People used to accessing the Vancouver park board’s website for information on indoor and outdoor recreation opportunities will have to get used to a new way of doing things.
The site—www.vancouverparks.ca—is gone as of today (August 8), with the URL redirecting to a page within the website of the City of Vancouver.
Park board watchdog Jamie Lee Hamilton isn’t amused by the change.
“This means a further erosion of the independence of our Vancouver park board, which is elected by the people,” Hamilton told the Straight in a phone interview.
She cited the case of the Vancouver School Board, a civic body that is also independent of city hall. The education board continues to maintain a separate website. “They haven’t given away their independence,” Hamilton said.
Melissa De Genova, one of the two opposition Non-Partisan Association commissioners on the park board, related that she and her NPA colleague, John Coupar, have had concerns about the board’s website shutting down.
“In some ways, it does compromise the independence of the park board,” De Genova told the Straight by phone.
According to the first-term commissioner, it would have been better if a parks web page had been built into the city website, and at the same time, an independent park board site was also maintained.
“We want to make sure that people understand that the Vancouver parks and recreation is not a department of the city,” De Genova said.
Sarah Blyth is the chair of the Vision Vancouver–controlled park board. “The great thing about having our site with the City of Vancouver website is that they get three times as much traffic as we had,” Blyth told the Straight in a phone interview.
She said the change will increase visits to the park board site through its page on the city website.
“It’s a great way to bring more exposure to the park board community, services, and all the events that we have every weekend,” Blyth said.