Cecil Konijnendijk speaks at the Value of Trees event. (Contributed photo)

Value of trees discussed

White Rock, Langley councillors ask to meet with beautification committee

Described by one organizer as a “difficult and emotional” topic, more than 100 people gathered at the Ocean Park Community Hall to learn about the value of trees.

The Ocean Park Beautification Committee invited UBC urban forestry professor Cecil Konijnendijk, City of Surrey trees and landscaping manager Nadia Chan and City of Surrey urban forestry manager Neal Aven to present at the Value of Trees event Aug. 17 for the Ocean Park neighbourhood.

Following the formal presentations, the audience was encouraged to ask questions to the presenters.

“There was a lot of concern in the audience that these trees are all being cut down. People are really upset. There were people crying in the room, people were saying this has to stop. The city needs to do something and put something in place so we can save our areas,” co-organizer Nicole Nelson told Peace Arch News Friday.

Nelson said the line of questioning put the city representatives “in a certain spot,” as the city also has a role to play with development.

“We’re not against development,” Nelson said. “Development is good, but there has to be a middle ground where trees, forest and nature is preserved and development happens.

“Right now it’s swinging too much on the development side and we’re seeing the concrete jungles pop up.”

Surrey Coun. Mike Starchuk, Township of Langley Coun. Petrina Arnason and White Rock Coun. Helen Fathers attended the event.

Nelson said both Fathers and Arnason approach her after the event.

“Both of them are interested in a followup meeting. Our group is going to be meeting with White Rock and the Township of Langley to talk about what can be done and brainstorm some ideas,” Nelson said, adding that an exact date of the meeting is yet to be formalized.

She said the Ocean Park Beautification Committee doesn’t mind meeting with both cities, as urban forestry concerns extend beyond Surrey borders.

“I think the idea is to come together and think of what we can do. I don’t think this is just a Surrey problem. I think Surrey is being the hardest hit right now because we have land. The land is being plowed and cleared and housing is going up because development is huge,” Nelson said.

Members from the ‘Save Hawthorne Park’ group also attended the event. That group is lobbying the City of Surrey to stop the city’s proposed 105 Avenue Connector project, which includes building a road through the Surrey Park. After delivering a 5,000-name petition to Surrey council last month, opponents have until Sept. 22 to collect 30,372 signatures in opposition of the project in order to stop the civic government from proceeding with it.

Representatives from the group were collecting signatures at the Value of Trees event.

People interested in getting on the beautification committee can email oceanparktrees@gmail.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

Photos: Rivermen sink Clippers

Game went into double OT

Hands-on history during Douglas Day at historic Fort Langley

Satchel and foot stool owned by Sir James Douglas put on display

Douglas Day celebration honours Langley’s pioneers

Theme of 159th anniversary celebration was history of transportation in the region

VIDEO: Langley bottle drive helps families fighting cancer

Team Keian event honours memory of six-year-old

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Apology to Canadians persecuted for being gay coming Nov. 28: Trudeau

Thousands were fired from the military, RCMP and public service because of their sexual orientation

Heavy rains, winds hit B.C.’s south coast

Localized flooding, gusts up to 70 km/hr expected for the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Most Read