Vancouver's Secret Forest

In the late 1990s, plans were being developed to remove hundreds of trees in one of Vancouver's last remaining urban forests. The proposed plan was to expand a public golf course and to create new condominium developments. Concerned citizens and environmental groups from across metro Vancouver supported the community of south Vancouver to challenge the redevelopment efforts. Together, they were instrumental in saving this urban forest from the proposed public golf course expansion and new condo development.

Expansion plans for the public golf course were eventually modified. The condo development was scrapped, and public amenities such as washroom faciilites were included into the revised plan. Upon completion of this public asset, residents volunteered to help remove invasive undergrowth (e.g. blackberry bushes) and the removal of debris in the local stream. In addition, volunteers with support from the City helped create a full perimeter walking trail, rest spots, and signage… and best of all, a thousand new trees were planted.

Now, two decades later, a new generation along with some of the original residents who led the effort to save this urban forest, were pleased to discover that new urban critters have made this urban forest their home– including some heron families and a beaver! If you quietly sit by the stream, cutthroat trout and stickleback fish may be seen darting about.

The almost 3km walking trail is maintained by city crews and by volunteer neighbours who continue to share this relatively unknown green oasis with visitors, one of the last remnants of forest in Vancouver.

Long time resident Don Evans shares:

The trails are thick with towering cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir. On some mornings you can hear pheasants squawking from the berry bushes, or coyotes howling to each other through the trees. It's hard to imagine that here in South East Vancouver there is this remnant forest, one of the last pieces of real forest left in Vancouver, standing between the fairways of Fraserview golf course, 221 acres bounded roughly by Marine Drive, Kerr Road, Elliott and Rosemont …
--from Terry Glavin's 1998 Vancouver Sun article


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