Valuing the natural environment and its ecosystem services is of paramount importance for municipalities and communities in order to protect, manage and enhance the quality of life of the community. People need green spaces in cities and towns to get away from their daily routines and find calmness and be able to relax. This project attempts to assess ten parks in the city of Kamloops by assigning a value to the parks and the ecosystem services the community enjoys. The picture below shows some of the beauty of our green spaces. Words to describe this beauty is unnecessary.
The adventure of writing about these Kamloops Parks has come to an ending. The hope is to continue this project next year and place a value on more parks. The table below provides a summary of the findings of my graduate students starting from smaller parks like Prince Charles to the largest Kenna Cartwright Nature Park. The value of these parks was estimated at 3.8 billion dollars with a yield of ecosystem services in the range of 2-5% per year or $133 million ecosystem services per year at a mid-range yield of 3.5%.
Table 1: Summary of the findings of the parks.
|Parks||Ha||Value of Park (in mlns of $s)||Ecosystem services per year (in mlns of $s)||Social return per year|
|Prince Charles||1.3||8||0.2 - 0.4||2.1-5%|
|McDonald||3.1||13.1||0.4 - 0.7||3.2-5%|
|Albert McGowan||9.7||48||1.3 - 2.4||2.7-5%|
|Riverside||10.5||57.2||1.3 - 2.9||2.3-5%|
|Ross Hill||11||17||0.9 - 1.5||5-8.9%|
|Valleyview Nature||80.7||177.5||8.9 - 11.1||5-6.2%|
|Peterson Creek||94||306||12.8 - 15.3||4.2-5%|
|Kenna Cartwright||749||2,960||45.7 - 58.6||1.5 - 2% with future growth of 1.5 - 2%|
This book covers only a fraction of the parks and green space and does not include the unique Kamloops River Trail nor the Lac du Bois protected Provincial Park which is on the northwest outskirts of the city with an estimated 15,717 hectares of land. Assessing this park at an average value of $3.9 million per hectare results in a value of $61.3 billion with ecosystem services in the range of $2.5 billion per year. Although it could be possible the value of these parks is overestimated but this would only increase the social return or yield of the parks. A social rate of return in the range of 2-5%, as this study found, is significant and comparable to other returns of other financial (e.g. government bonds) or real assets (e.g. real estate).
Finally, I cannot thank enough all my graduate students for their dedication, work ethic, and engagement in this project. It would not be possible without their participation. Thank you!