In this update:
* February meeting minutes
* SNAP planning
* Fraser Highway widening
* Other activities
* Get involved!
* Interesting local environmental/park planning links
Minutes of the February 4, 2015 Board of Directors meeting — Download the pdf report here (http://www.greentimbers.ca/about-gths/gths-forms/doc_download/49-gths-news-february-2015) . Depending on your email software you may be asked to save the file or open it in a web browser. The minutes are always an entertaining and informative read, and the best way to to stay informed on issues affecting the Green Timbers Urban Forest.
** SNAP planning for 2015
Funding Proposals/Suggestions have been sent to: Canada Summer Jobs, BC Gaming (outreach & coordination), Van City, Evergreen/ Walmart (Arboretum), MtnEquipmentCo-Op, Heritage Canada (Research re Surrey Reforestation Nursery Sign), Environment Canada – (Science Horizon Internship to examine ecosystem services), Beautification Grant (July)?
Mission Statements – the SNAP Vision and Purposes has been drafted by Stephen, with input from all SNAP partners.
Hiring – Job Postings have gone to Colleges, Universities, Co-Op Program Bulletin Boards. 150 applications received, 60 meet qualifications.
Schedules – Federal Funding Decisions – by Riding – occur during early spring, for May start dates. Stephen is working four days each week: planning funding; marketing and reviewing applications; formalizing SNAP purposes; scheduling SNAP 2015 activity, training manuals, supplies and equipment.
SNAP Welcome Breakfast – Tentative Date – May 13 – 8 AM.
** Fraser Highway Widening Details and Discussion
We have met the Transportation staff of City Hall Engineering Department three times. In January we requested input from our members, and have received several. This is an example of a “public response” to our website request for input:
The land swap may be reasonable as long as the extra 5 acres south of 92 Avenue are included. (Green Timbers would get 17.5 acres for giving up 5.6 acres). There should be a provision that no trees are cut until the transportation expansion is fully funded. It would be a travesty if the trees were cut and the transportation project got delayed for 15 or 20 years.
Jim displayed Newspaper articles on the topic of the planned six lane widening, the increased traffic at 144th and Fraser Hwy, the new lights, more accidents than before, etc. He spoke of Portland, and how Transit lanes there are shared with cars. We reviewed the archival files about the previously planned four-lane widening, discussed our personal opinions, and Don will provide a general message to the Transportation Committee. However, Jaime Boan, Philip Bellefontaine and Jeff Pang still await our unified statement.
We agree with Jim’s opinions: We are all concerned about the continuous erosion of our designated forest reserve. Green Timbers is our Stanley Park. This is an opportunity for the City of Surrey to be a visionary leader in transportation development, while saving parks. We can urge City Councillors to create a legacy of their urban forest.
** Other activities
Ellen read out the biographies of the new Surrey Council, and recommended we keep in touch with those councillors whose online bios indicate an interest in heritage or environment.
Jim wrote a letter to the Editor, thanking Frank Bucholtz for his article in the January 14 Peace Arch News, “City targets Green Timbers trees.”
The Special Events Planning topic was forwarded to next meeting. We shall contact Ashley at the Surrey Nature Centre about Spring Extravaganza and other events. Susan Lehmann is continuing to be in charge of the GTHS Booth and supplies. We need updated maps and posters for our booth.
Don will work on developing an updated trail map and handout.
We received special requests to participate in National Forest Week – September 20 to 26, and Burns Bog Nature Festival in October 2015.
Sculpture project: The hospital long ago approved space on its property at 140th and Fraser Hwy. Various formats have been discussed over the years, with no final concept. Full sculpture of driver and cart – as designed by Wady Lehmann? A relief carving? Storyboard? Stone or Cement or Steel? To Do: Decide upon format. Research costs and sculptors. (Ask Cloverdale Main Street sculptor)? Plan Budget. Sponsors?
Surrey’s Stories – Red Cedar Stump at 8920 Queen Mary Blvd – (pdf download here (http://www.surrey.ca/files/Heritage/Surreys_Stories_Winter_Spring_2015.pdf) ) Don wrote the article for our GTHS page, imagining how it must have been with trees this size everywhere! Jim advised re the City’s excellent restoration around its base, and how he had constructed the metal framing inside the hollow interior. Jim gave a childhood story about the property owners’ goats using the huge stump (then 80 feet tall) as an overnight barn, complete with doors, and how the neighbourhood boys hid inside. It’s over 500 years old, still 9 metres around, but only 4 m tall.
Website Rethinking and Updates: We need new ideas to gain readers’ attention. Don will instruct Michael re new articles/illustrations. Perhaps we need to hire an Executive Director to take charge of continuous marketing and action? Perhaps hire a student to record our stories and preserve our memories?
Green Timbers Forest Observations: Garbage dumps noted on 92 Avenue and 100 Avenue.
Interested in attending or helping out? Our next meeting is Thursday, March 12 at 7 pm at the Surrey Nature Centre.
** Things you can do to help
What’s your opinion on the proposed Fraser Highway widening? What do you think? Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com?subject=Fraser%20Highway%20widening) .
Don’t be shy! Email your photos of Green Timbers to firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com?subject=Photos%20of%20Green%20Timbers%20Urban%20Forest) , or post them on the Green Timbers Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Timbers-Heritage-Society/156504941140910) .
If you’re interested in helping protect this area, working with interesting people or just helping out occasionally send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com?subject=Photos%20of%20Green%20Timbers%20Urban%20Forest) .
** Interesting links
Curious about how much rain falls in Surrey?
The City monitors this through six rain gauge stations
TREES GONE ON WEST SIDE OF SCHOOL
Before and after shots close to Sunnyside Elementary School