Walk in the Park: Take a stroll in an urban oasis

The Hope River - Corbould Park is a hidden gem in Chilliwack.

Corbould Park in downtown Chilliwack.

Corbould Park in downtown Chilliwack.

The Hope River – Corbould Park is a hidden gem in Chilliwack.

It’s an urban oasis, and a popular green space with biodiversity and a pleasant respite — less than a kilometre from downtown.

The waterway sees spawning salmon that can be heard splashing around a specially built salmon viewing platform.

It stretches from Young Road to near McCammon elementary, and the park attracts walkers, dog walkers, cyclists and people pushing baby strollers. There are bird watchers, or anglers, and those who come to have a leisurely picnic or even a wedding in the tree-lined park.

Those who mosey along the banks with binoculars often have fond hopes of spotting one of the many wildlife, and dozens of bird species, from great blue heron, red tail hawk and eagle, to the much more rare green heron with their telltale yellow legs.

It’s not uncommon to see hard-working beaver chugging up the slough, and frolicking river otters having a blast in the water.

The Hope slough is an historic stream channel, and still well loved by local residents and residents alike with a winding path that is part of the Rotary Trail system.

Although many people mistakenly believe the slough is already dead or choked out, in fact it is teeming with life, home to fish species, like chum and coho salmon, to catfish, cutthroat trout, pikeminnow, and chub. The construction of a fish viewing platform in 2005 was part of a community project with DFO and community support to rehab the oxygen-depleted slough with a spawning riffle, a bed of gravel for spawning in quick moving water.

The project was funded by the Pacific Salmon Commission, administered by the Fraser Valley Regional District. Partners include Fisheries and Oceans Canada, City of Chilliwack, FVRD and the Chilliwack Fish and Game Protective Association.

The ambling walkway in the pleasant little park that used to be the old dike makes for a great stroll. Memorial benches dot the path and are perfect for a little rest.