The four largest islands in the Southern Gulf Islands, Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna, have organized community parks and recreation services. Each island is exceptional in character and each provides a variety of parks, trails and other venues to experience. Visitors and residents alike enjoy Pender Island’s disc park and countless trails throughout the island, Mayne Island’s stunning Japanese Gardens, Galiano Island’s skate park and many beach accesses to explore rocky ocean shorelines, and Saturna Island’s Thomson Park with its great peddled beach for swimming and large covered picnic area for dining.
The natural ecosystems of Eastern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are unique. They are often an inspiration to artists, poets, writers, photographers, musicians, meditators, bird watchers, tide pool investigators, scientists, hikers, and people of all ages who enjoy and appreciate natural environments. They provide recreational and educational opportunities for everyone. Protecting them means that future generations will be able to observe the amazing natural history of this area.
Each of Galiano, Pender, Saturna and Mayne Islands have a Parks and Recreation Commission which is run by eight local volunteer Parks Commissioners appointed by the Capital Regional District (CRD) and by the Director representing the Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area. They manage community parks and trails for the use of residents and visitors to the islands. They also maintain trails on highway right of ways to viewpoints and ocean accesses. The Commission is responsible for the organization and conduct of recreational programs. Every year they disburse funds to individuals and groups who provide recreational opportunities for the residents of the island.
The commission oversees all operations as they have no staff reporting directly to them. They also prepare an annual budget and make recommendations on operating policy, regulations and fees to the CRD board.
The approved budget is formalized through an annual CRD tax requisition on behalf of the Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area.