Walks in Green Timbers

Leana has been kind enough to organize walks in Green Timbers — usually about an hour or two at a gentle pace.
Find the next one on Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/GreenTimbers


Surrey Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP) Summer and Fall programs

The Fall SNAP team

The Surrey Natural Area Partnership’s 20th anniversary season needed some quick thinking because of the Covid pandemic. Despite this, it was a successful season. Congratulations to Amy Kim (and team) for a job well done!

This summer, the Field Team worked in 14 different parks and natural areas across Surrey, removing 14 species of invasive plants. In total, the team removed 100 m3 of invasive plant material covering over 3360 m2 of natural areas in Surrey.

Within Green Timbers, the Field Team spent 100 hours doing a variety of tasks including the removal of seven invasive plant species, meadow maintenance, beaver habitat maintenance, and litter removal from the shoreline and trails. In total, the team removed over 9 m3 of invasive plant material covering nearly 316 m2.

The Urban Forest Outreach Team consisted of four youth with two Team Leaders and two Team Members. The team interacted with 3390 people by roving and hosting in 13 Surrey parks. Due to COVID-19 protocols, they did not attend any events or canvas homes.

Throughout the summer, the Urban Forest Outreach team maintained a strong presence in GTUF. The team spent a total of 118 hours hosting and roving within the park. During this time, the team engaged with 1351 people by providing park information, nature activities and education about park etiquette. The team also installed ‘sensory pop-up signs’ to help park users engage with their five senses and connect with nature.

Watch the Summer Teams reflect on their experience: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=891169924625458&extid=FEGgkvoywcEAI8ZE

The SNAP program for the first time has a Fall program, running until the end of November.

The Green Timbers Heritage Society is proud partner of the Surrey Natural Areas Partnership.



Green Timbers: tree updates

Mrs. Christmas’ tree

Parks had to remove a mature Douglas-fir tree within the Inaugural Forest Plantation. The tree was Number 58 – Mrs. AJ Christmas.

The tree had significant internal decay (Phaelous schweinitzii – a common fungus found in Douglas-fir trees that causes severe decay of tree roots and buttress) at the base of the tree. A resistograph drill was used to determine the extent of the decay, which was severe enough to be a significant risk to fall onto people using the adjacent trails.

Seven other trees were cut down within the 148th St road allowance close to 100th Avenue. They weren’t within the park. Five were dead, and two dying, including one hemlock, two cherry, two birch, and two big leaf maple trees. The trees were likely to fail onto 148th St.

The cherry trees often found in our natural area forests are native varieties, bitter or choke cherry.  They are being affected by the drought that is affecting most of our native trees, especially along forest edges. There is probably the odd non-native cherry tree variety that was planted by a resident but otherwise most would be native trees.

The debris will be left in the forest to decompose and to cycle back into the forest after being spread out to minimize potential forest fires.

Tree work also had to be done around the marsh and creek inflow to the lake.  There were 33 dead alder trees at the two beaver dam location that posed a high risk to staff when managing the beaver dam. These trees died due to the flooding caused by the beaver activity.  As well, four other alder trees had uprooted and were leaning over the Birch Trail. If unmanaged, these trees would have fallen over the next year which would put staff and the public at risk.

Despite the beavers changing the habitat in these areas which are causing some of the alder trees to be killed, the beaver ponds actually enhance the diversity of these sites.  Staff regularly see wood ducks, herons, and muskrats in these areas.

We are still working on installing a beaver leveller at the main marsh area (northern dam).  The dam by the inflow to the lake (southern dam) isn’t appropriate for a leveller.

Parks will plant trees within Green Timbers at a two-for-one ratio to compensate for the fallen trees.


Green Timbers: SkyTrain update

Translink was ready to start another round of public engagement on the plans for SkyTrain along Fraser Highway, including through Green Timbers. But then the provincial election was called. We’ll let you know when you can voice your opinions!


Green Timbers: Fraser Highway to be widened to four lanes

Initial planning for Fraser Highway widening, also showing the SkyTrain elevated rail. This is for the section between 144 and 148 Streets, looking East (towards Langley)

It’s been on-and-off the planning table since the referendum to save Green Timbers as a natural area back in the 1980s. Now it’s back into planning. Engineering has prepared a report for Council which includes diagrams, logic and the Green Timbers Heritage Society’s response:

A more accessible (easy-to-read) document making the case for more lanes is here:

Then engineering department is encouraging people to share your feedback at EngWebmail@surrey.ca


When you notice stuff that’s wrong in Green Timbers (or elsewhere)

If you do notice things like tree vandalism or big piles of litter the best people to notify the City. They have a pretty good notification system online, and through their “My Surrey” app. Go to the “Online Services” button, then “Report a problem”. If you’re at home the URL is: https://my.surrey.ca/report-a-problem/home

Please feel free to send a note to info@greentimbers.ca too. We like to be kept informed as to what’s going on in the park!



Green Timbers in the news:

14 beautiful lakes near Vancouver to visit this summer

Jul 24 2020

Green Timbers Lake
This lake in the heart of the Green Timbers Urban Forest in Surrey is a great spot for fishing and generously stocked with rainbow trout throughout the year. But you can also enjoy a myriad of trails in the surrounding area. No swimming permitted.
Where: About 45 minutes’ drive from downtown Vancouver, on 96 Avenue between Fraser Highway and 148 Street in Surrey


Tree falls across road in Surrey
Crews on scene to clear the debris
Crews were on scene at Fraser Highway and 96th Avenue on Thursday (Aug. 6) to clear the debris from a tree that fell across the road.



9 Free And Low-Cost Things To Do Outdoors In Surrey Before Summer Is Over
604 Now | @604now | August 21, 2020

Fishing & Bird Watching at Green Timbers
Nature lovers can head to Green Timbers Urban Forest for some much-needed time relaxing in the great outdoors. Spanning 226 hectares, this park is a popular spot for hiking and biking. It’s also a haven for bird watchers, with a serene lake in the middle that attracts a plethora of bird species to the area. The lake is also a great place to go fishing as it’s stocked full with rainbow trout.


Nesting birds delay construction of Surrey supportive housing project
Councillor says work is ‘well underway now’; Nickerson Place closing Aug. 31
LAUREN COLLINS Aug. 27, 2020

Meantime, work is ongoing at two other supportive housing projects: one in Green Timbers and one near King George Boulevard and 132nd Street.
Locke said the one on King George Boulevard, a 57-unit project, is “underway as well.”
The Green Timbers site, she said, is a “full build.” It will include 100 supportive housing units and 30 transitional accommodation spaces.



SkyTrain project includes four-lane widening of Fraser Highway in Green Timbers
Kenneth Chan Sep 14 2020
Fraser Highway through Green Timbers Urban Forest will be widened to accommodate both a larger roadway and the elevated guideway of SkyTrain’s future Expo Line extension towards Langley.
The City of Surrey states it has worked with TransLink on an optimized design to widen the arterial roadway from the existing two-lane width to a new four-lane standard between 140 Street and 148 Street.


This is the ultimate guide to a bicycle adventure to Green Timbers in Surrey
September 16, 2020

Ride along 100 Avenue
This is a treat to ride — and it’s new! There are raised, separated bike lanes on both sides of 100 Avenue. The lanes feature an asphalt surface, between 2 to 2.2 metres wide, that allows side‐by‐side passing. Cyclists are raised to sidewalk elevation (curb height) and are physically separated from pedestrians by a boulevard and from traffic by a street buff (stamped and colourized concrete).
100 Ave at 148 Street
The new raised, separated bike lanes were funded through the TransLink Walking, Cycling, and Roads Program under Bicycle Infrastructure Capital Cost Sharing (BICCS). TransLink and the City of Surrey cost-shared upgrades along 100 Avenue, between King George Boulevard and 148 Street, to create these raised, separated bike lanes on both sides.


TransLink releases Surrey-Langley SkyTrain station designs (RENDERINGS)
Kenneth Chan Sep 18 2020
September 2020 artistic rendering of 140 Street Station on the Expo Line’s Surrey-Langley SkyTrain Extension. (TransLink)
For its third phase of public consultation on the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain project, TransLink is seeking public feedback on the designs of the new stations that will be built along Fraser Highway for the Expo Line Extension reaching Fleetwood.


The best places to see fall leaves in and around Vancouver
Sep 21 2020

Green Timbers Urban Forest
Once fall hits the Green Timbers Urban Forest, you’ll be floating on a carpet of golden leaves as you stroll the second-growth forest trails, or wander around the picturesque lake.



Become a member, make a difference

Friends, we need more people — people just like you — to help organize garbage -ups, walking tours, lobby City Hall, communicate with Translink and the City about issues facing the Green Timbers Urban Forest, and so much more.

The Green Timbers Heritage Society has been around since 1988 and was instrumental in saving this bit of green space. It’s a valuable way for people and groups to not only connect with something you love, but also connect with institutions like the City that maintain, enhance and sometimes impinge on it.

It’s also a great way to pad out your resume, learn all sorts of things, and add meaning to your life!

The Society is organized as a registered charity with directors, annual general meetings and all sorts of exciting things like that. Becoming a member gives you and the Society more authority when institutions contact us as a “stakeholder” in the Green Timbers area. Becoming an active member means we can actually do more things, have more say and do more to enhance and protect this area of the world. Wouldn’t that be a marvelous thing?

You can now sign up online at:
— that’s for new memberships. I haven’t got our current members in this system yet. See? This is a great example of someone we need: a membership director. Could that be you?

If you want to renew or see when your current membership expires, please drop me an email at president@greentimbers.ca. I’ll see where you’re at and let you know.


Roy Strang, a strong advocate for urban forests, has passed away

Roy was an important part of the movement to save Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, and was a strong advocate for it over many years. The Now-Leader has a good article:


Help grow Surrey’s Urban Forests, every Saturday through September and October

Releaf Tree Planting: Help grow Surrey’s urban forest by planting trees and shrubs in your community park. Plants boost biodiversity, increase shade coverage, and provide habitat for animals. It’s a great excuse to get outside. There are plantings in several parks each Saturday: