Green Timbers Heritage Society came into being in 1987 to develop and encourage public knowledge and awareness of forests in urban areas. We are acting as stewards for Green Timbers forest of Surrey preserving and enhancing its natural values. In 1988 and again in 1996 through referendums in the community we have stopped commercial development of areas of Green Timbers. Close alliances with our parks department in development of nature trails and a lake have made our park a jewel of Surrey.
The Green Timbers Heritage Society is the steward of the Green Timbers Urban Forest. Since 1987 the Board of Directors have been working closely with the Surrey Parks, Recreation and Culture to improve the trails and open the forest up to residents of Surrey for their recreation and education of the forest, plants and wildlife.
The Green Timbers Heritage Society was incorporated with the aim of preserving the square mile of forest, which was replanted in the 1930’s after it was logged, and then dedicated by the Tolmie government to remain treed. Eventually the City of Surrey traded land on 192nd Street in exchange for a major part of the forest. We thought the forest was finally saved. However a former Surrey mayor thought he had a better idea and logged a major section of the forest in 1987 to build a football stadium and parking lot.
Our Society took up the torch and fought to keep the forest in its natural state. Working closely with the City Council we managed to get a referendum passed by residents that saved the forest from the football stadium. But we only saved the urban forest from 92 to 100 avenues.
The city councillors wanted to sell the forest land north of 100 Avenue to developers for residential condominiums. The City was offered $32 Million for the land. The Green Timbers Heritage Society thought it was worth more to leave it as forest. The City called another referendum and 97 per cent of citizens supported keeping it as a forest. While the Society was trying to save this part of the forest, they built trails through it connecting this section of the forest with the rest of Green Timbers.
Over the years the Society has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for work in the forest. All the trails are now built to high standards and with bridges and gravel they are passable all year long. The Society also manages a program called Surrey Stewardship of Natural Areas Partnership (SSNAP). It is a partnership between five environmental groups in Surrey managed by the Green Timbers Heritage Society. Four to five university students are hired to work in Surrey forests and parks from May to the end of August. The Society is a wholly volunteer run organization and any money raised goes directly into the forest. Volunteers are needed for trail building and tour guides work.
To become a member of Green Timbers Heritage Society, please print and send the GTHS Membership form with a cheque to the following address:
Green Timbers Heritage Society
c/o 14225 Green Timbers Way
Surrey, BC V3T 0J2