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There are many parks in Vancouver and their purposes are wide and varied. From the carefully groomed areas, such as Van Dusen Botanical Gardens and Bloedel Conservatory to bicycle racing at China Creek Park and from baseball during the warm summers to soccer and rugger in fall and winter, parks of Vancouver are always in use.

Second only to the city’s largest park, Stanley Park, is Queen Elizabeth Park. Situated atop Little Mountain in the geographical center of the city, this park covers over 55 acres of ground. The area was formerly a rock quarry with its product being used to pave city streets. In 1928, city purchased the land and over the years transformed the quarry into today’s park. The sunken gardens are part of the old quarry and it is easy to recognize their former state, when viewed from the higher vantage points.

Dominant feature of Queen Elizabeth Park is the massive geodesic dome of Bloedel Floral Conservatory, which houses over three hundred species of tropical florae as well as tropical birds, which fly free inside. Dome is made up of 15 meters of glass.

Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, located on Oak street, covers 55 and half acres and contains seven small lakes and over 3300 different species of plant life.

These gardens are continually being modified, but contain strategically located greenhouses, a Children's Garden, an Herbal Garden and a Fragrance Garden and an amphitheatre, which shows films. These features, plus a host of interesting and beautiful displays make Van Dusen Gardens a delight for casual visitor, as well as serious horticulturist.

As well as these more formal parks, there are many miles of beach parks in Vancouver. One can start at the foot of Burrard bridge, at Vanier Park and proceed around the beach to Kitsilano Park, with its tennis courts and large salt-water pool. Continuing further along the shore drive are Jericho Park and Marine Drive Foreshore Park, which extends from Spanish Banks, around past University of British Columbia to the Musqueam Indian Reserve.





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