Welcome to the Green Links Atlas
About the Atlas

Green Links is a unique initiative of the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology aimed at maintaining and improving biodiversity in urban areas.  Green Links does so by connecting areas between parks and other green spaces in urban areas so that smaller patches can operate as larger units that can support species with these larger habitat requirements.

Our Mandate

The Institute of Urban Ecology is a community-based organization that promotes a better understanding of nature in the city and works to enhance natural environments. To fulfil our mandate we conduct research on urban biodiversity, offer an extensive environmental education program and conduct plantings of native vegetation with community participation.

Green Links is one of our projects that increases biodiversity in strategic areas between parks and other green spaces to improve connectivity in the Greater Vancouver region. This encourages larger breeding populations, provides alternative food sources and improves gene flow for plant and animal life.

In its community projects, the Institute takes a holistic approach to habitat restoration by educating and involving communities through art, science, and hands-on experience.

Green Links History

The Green Links Project began in 1996 with a 10-year mandate, after which the program will be evaluated. It complements the current Greenways initiatives of the GVRD, municipalities and the province. The links themselves are types of Greenways but do not necessarily include people access. Also, backyard habitat can be incorporated as part of a link.


The primary activity of Green Links is to plant native vegetation in utility corridors, parks, schoolgrounds and backyards. Support for this work comes from a variety of sources, including: BC Hydro, Terasen Gas, the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, Environment Canada, the Vancouver Foundation, aggregate producers, municipalities, the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) and community members.

Plantings have occurred all over the Lower Mainland.  Most of our efforts have been concentrated in two demonstration corridors in Coquitlam and Surrey/Delta.  The Coquitlam corridor is a 5 km right-of-way joining Scott Creek, Pinnacle Creek Ravine, Mundy Park, Riverview Forest and Colony Farm Regional Park.  The Surrey corridor is a 15 km right-of-way joining Surrey Bend, Tynehead Regional Park, Green Timbers, Mahood Creek and Burns Bog. 

Green Links also works on other projects that aim to create wildlife habitat in urban areas.  Other major habitat restoration work has occurred in the Coquitlam gravel pits and several greenhouses in Delta.

Environmental education is also part of the Green Links mandate in that it serves to highlight the value of urban wildlife habitat and it can inspire environmental stewardship. The Institute offers workshops on natural history, building habitat for animals and sustainable living. Work has also been done with schools to create nature murals in order to involve the artistic side of environmental awareness.

Research in urban biodiversity helps to better understand the dynamics of nature in the city and identify better approaches to conserve and restore urban ecosystems. The Institute has conducted significant research in urban biodiversity, nature’s services, indicator species, hedgerows and other aspects of natural areas in urban environments.

Community Mapping Network

The Green Links Project has resulted in over 100 plantings in Greater Vancouver. Although our partners are aware of the individual efforts in which they were involved, the online mapping application provided by the Community Mapping Network enables us to present the overall extent of everyone’s combined efforts. Each planting has an identifying name and further information about the planting is available either online at this site or can be obtained by contacting the Institute of Urban Ecology at Douglas College.

We have planting reports for almost all sites. The reports contain more detailed site maps, lists of the species planted, the quantities, who was involved and other relevant information for the plantings.