Valleys 2000–the local non-profit group dedicated to protecting and promoting green space in Bowmanville–is sharing its vision for a signature public park on the former Bowmanville Zoo lands. On April 24, the plan was received by the Municipality of Clarington at a Special Meeting of the Planning and Development Committee.
Valleys 2000 hired The Planning Partnership–a leading landscape architect that designed Evergreen Brickworks Park in Toronto–to create a high-level concept for creative use of this space. In the fall of 2022, The Planning Partnership hosted a visioning session (“charette”) with Valleys 2000 board members, municipal staff and community leaders, including representatives from Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, which helped inform the proposed plan.
“Many of us have fond memories of The Bowmanville Zoo. When 34 acres of these lands were given to the Municipality of Clarington for public use, we saw an opportunity to help create a bold and ambitious vision for a municipal park that will attract residents from across Clarington and beyond,” said Ron Strike, President of Valleys 2000. “Our vision for this space will honour the history of the lands, protect the natural environment, expand Bowmanville’s trail system, and create new cultural and community spaces for everyone to enjoy.”
Key features of the design vision include:
- Community and cultural components: including a natural amphitheater for outdoor performance space, recreation and playground spaces, picnic areas and public art honouring the legacy of the Bowmanville Zoo.
- Educational elements: including outdoor classrooms and a community demonstration garden area for ecology and urban agriculture.
- Natural features: with a focus on protecting and enhancing Soper Creek’s ecological health, the plan also includes ponds, meadows and woodlands to provide habitat and protection for birds, pollinators, fish and other wildlife.
- Trails: providing important connections both within the park and as part of the larger Soper Creek Trail system, contributing to Valleys 2000’s vision for a Resilient Circle of Green.
Valleys 2000 would like to thank all the community partners who contributed to this vision; especially the Municipality of Clarington for working collaboratively on this unique approach to public lands development. As part of its proposed Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the Municipality of Clarington’s next phase of planning will assess the feasibility, scope, costing, and phasing of implementation. Note that the concept is a vision – not a final approved plan – and additional planning and community consultation will take place.
www.valleys2000.ca to learn more.Valleys 2000 has committed to fundraise to support the park’s development through donations, corporate sponsorships, and exploring the possibilities for provincial and federal grants and funding. Visit