David Suzuki Park? In Vancouver's Marpole neighborhood?

David Suzuki Park?
In Vancouver's Marpole neighborhood?

Both David Suzuki and Joy Kogawa grew up in Vancouver's Marpole neighborhood, but their families were removed from their homes in 1942, because of the internment of Japanese-Canadians.  All the homes and properties of West Coast Japanese-Canadians was later confiscated and sold – without their permission.

Park Board Commissioner Spencer Herbert will bring an amendment to this coming Monday's Park Board meeting to name a new park at West 72nd and Selkirk after renowned Vancouverite and environmentalist David Suzuki.

The park site is in the neighbourhood where Suzuki's family, as part of a Japanese fishing community, lived bef or e being interned by the Canadian government during World War II.

“The opportunity to name this new park after David Suzuki would also be a way of recognizing the historic injustice that was carried out against Japanese-Canadians,” explained Commissioner Herbert, who in recent weeks has been helping to lead efforts to restore Stanley Park from severe storm damage.

“David Suzuki has been calling for serious action on climate change for many years, and that's just one of the countless contributions he's made to Canadian society. Naming this park after him would be a well-deserved recognition of one of the greatest Canadians ever, someone who has been key to spreading popular understanding of the natural environment.”

City Councillor Heather Deal, a biologist with the David Suzuki Foundation,  informed me that “David was very pleased and in fact quite moved by the idea.  He has many requests to have things like schools named after him and has always said no, but this one really resonated for him.”

Way to go David Suzuki!  Way to go Spencer Herbert!

I hope the motion passes.  There are very few parks named after Canadian-born Asian-Canadians… and David Suzuki has done much for the community.

One thought on “David Suzuki Park? In Vancouver's Marpole neighborhood?

  1. Anonymous

    The Parks Board decided to forward the names to a committee. There were other names also put forward: Obasan Park by Stuart Mackinnon (partially because he thought that parks could not be named after living people), and Kim Campbell Park by Parks Commissioner Heather Holden.
    While David Suzuki and Joy Kogawa both grew up in the Marpole community, Kim Campbell did not.
    The park is built with a Japanese theme specifically to recognize the “Japanese-Canadian” community that formerly lived in Marpole, prior to WW2. Kim Campbell is definitely not Japanese… what was Holden thinking?


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