Parks and Environment

The mandate for the Parks Program is to maintain and build Bowen Island Municipality parks, trails, beaches, beach accesses, pedestrian right‐of‐ways, playing fields, greenways and open space in a manner that contributes towards a sustainable community.  Between May and August, two temporary Parks Crew employees provide the bulk of the maintenance with additional support from contractors and the core Public Works Crew.

Parks, Trails and Beaches

Community use boat racks

There are three classes of beach access on Bowen Island as follows:

In general, Class “A” beaches are high traffic beaches that are equipped with both washroom facilities and garbage containers and are designated with signage. These beaches are also wheelchair accessible. During the summer months they are maintained at least twice per week ensuring clean facilities and unobstructed access to the sea. 

Class “B” beaches are well used beaches that are typically frequented by neighbourhood residents and are designated with signage. During the summer months these beaches are maintained weekly by municipal staff.

Class “C” beaches are legal public access routes which may or may not be physically accessible. These beaches may be used by neighbourhood residents but not as frequently as Class “B” beaches. These beaches are not maintained by municipal staff and are not designated with signage.

To view a map of Bowen Island Parks, Trails and Beaches please click here. We are currently updating our trail map. The map provided is the most current version available but is subject to change.

Metro Vancouver and Bowen Island Municipality both operate a number of parks throughout Bowen Island.

Dogs on main beaches

Dogs are not permitted on Bowen Bay Beach, Tunstall Bay Beach and Sandy Beach during the months of July and August.

Community use boat racks

Sandy Beach and Tunstall Beach have racks available to store small water craft. Please note the following conditions for use of the boat racks:

  • All small water craft must be clearly labelled with the owner’s name and phone number.
  • Only one small recreational water craft per community member.
  • Rack storage is limited to: boats, life jackets, oars, paddles and bailers.
  • Fuel containers, propane tanks, seafood traps, and all other personal, household or construction items will be removed at the owner’s expense.

Beach Water Quality

Six Bowen Island recreational beaches are sampled throughout the swimming season (mid-May through early September) to determine compliance with the Canadian Recreational Water Guidelines. Two samples per beach area are analysed by Vancouver Coastal Health and geometric means are calculated.  

When the geometric mean of the samples from a particular beach area exceeds 200 E.coli bacteria per 100 millilitres of sea water sample or in the event of a known hazard or spill, an assessment will be made to determine the possible health risks and the most effective approach to protecting the health of recreational water users.

The provincial Medical Health Officer may require Bowen Island Municipality to post a warning sign at a particular beach indicating that the water is contaminated and is unsafe for swimming. Vancouver Coastal Health’s website regarding bathing beach counts is an informative and reliable reference.

Beach “closures” are generally not based on individual results but rather geometric means of water samples taken from a particular swimming beach area over the past 30 days. 

2017 Snug Cove Tunstall Bay Sandy Beach Bowen Bay Pebbly Beach Mothers Beach
May 23 50 20 15   5 14 30 14 25 10 41 <5
May 30 55 100 50 20 300 240 14 5 200 100 59 50
June 6 215 482 45 45 345 350 15 5 10 10 135 115
June 12 1100 400 20 10 2050 260 <5 <5 18 165 45 65
June 20 220 235 <5 <5 314 314 430 20 20 25 332 275
Jume 27 1700 3000 <5 15 86 180 40 35 245 327 200 277
July 4 175 5 5 <5 27 30 5 10 5 <5 36 <5
July 11 3550 1450 5 5 890 1950 5 5 130 205 175 173
July 18 505 125 <5 <5 380 270 5 <5 <5 5 20 55

Numbers in this chart represent the number of E. coli bacteria per 100 millilitres of sea water sample. Two samples are taken from each of the swimming beach sites.


Heron Policy

Heron Nesting Activity Report

Environmental Resources for Home Owners

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