Richmondites have wonderful views on the Fraser River Estuary from the west dykes, thanks to the purchase of the Grauer lands in 2012.
For many years and multiple generations, the land had been owned by the Grauers - a family that has been contributing to our city in many ways since they first settled here in 1892.
Adjacent to the West Dyke Trail, the Grauer lands provide ever-changing scenery for the numerous walkers, runners and cyclists who pass along the well-maintained trail.
The area changes with seasonal colours and with the shifting of the tides.
The recent "king tides” created a version of Venice’s “acqua alta.”
The farsighted purchase of tidal wetlands was done through a partnership between the City of Richmond and Ducks Unlimited. The cash price for the land was $2.2 million.
The deal also included $850,000 in the form of a Federal Ecological Gift tax receipt to the sellers, the Grauer family.
The 127-acre property is now an ecological reserve and home to a wide range of birds and other wildlife. It provides a refuge and food source for migrating birds, including Canada geese and snow geese.
The large reserve also supports five types of salmon as well as many other fish species.
All in all, it's well worth a walk/cycle along the dykes.