Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership:
SNAP is a unique youth-focused program operated as a partnership between three local non-profits and the City of Surrey, administered by the Green Timbers Heritage Society. Our objectives are to:
– restore and enhance Surrey’s natural areas and wildlife habitat;
– raise awareness of the benefits of nature, and the importance of Surrey’s urban forest;
– encourage public participation in the stewardship of Surrey’s parks and trees; and
– empower youth to become future leaders in environmental education and conservation.
The Story of SNAP
Local community groups formed Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP) in 2001 to promote the stewardship of Surrey’s natural areas. Originally a team of 4 students doing habitat restoration, SNAP now employs over 10 post secondary students doing habitat restoration and environmental education. These students work with the community to reach their goals of restoring, enhancing and protecting Surrey’s natural areas and parks and to increasing awareness and stewardship of these areas.
Habitat Restoration Team
Habitat restoration is the process by which we attempt to restore, maintain or enhance the ecological integrity and functioning of a natural area.
Habitat restoration is a long process so each year the SNAP Habitat Restoration teams return to previous sites to build on the work done by previous SNAP teams and ensure the longevity of our natural areas.
Critical to the ongoing maintenance of our natural areas is the removal of invasive species. Without the removal of this invasive vegetation, our native plants would quickly be outcompeted from the area, giving rise to a monoculture of non-native vegetation with little or no habitat value or ecological benefits. SNAP plays an essential role in the removal of various invasive plants from both new and ongoing restoration sites.
The SNAP Habitat Restoration teams also work on a number of other important projects including the closure of unsanctioned trails, removal of refuse and the installation of wildlife structures.
Urban Forestry Outreach Team
The SNAP Urban Forestry Outreach team raises awareness within the community of the benefits of urban forests (including forested areas in parks and stand-alone park/boulevard trees), promotes the adoption of stewardship behaviour in relation to urban forests, and fosters a sense of community connection with Surrey’s urban forest parks and boulevard trees.
To achieve this, the team undertakes a number of activities throughout the summer:
We host and attend environmentally themed activities at various community events throughout Surrey, such as Surrey Fest, Newton Fest and Fusion Fest. These activities often involve a take home component, so look out for the green SNAP tent at the next community event you attend!
We maintain a presence in Surrey parks, interacting with park users, conducting litter picks and promoting connections to nature. We act as guides and positive educators for how to maintian the beauty of parks.
We communicate with residents, providing information on various park issues, such as yard waste dumping in parks. We are an important resource for residents, providing education about the ecological impacts of human activities. giving them information on City services, and promoting the benefits of nature.
Tree Care Team
Trees are a critical component to the overall health of our City and mitigate numerous deleterious effects of urban environments. They improve local air quality, reduce urban heat island effects, provide for wildlife, mitigate the impact of storm water, moderate local weather and climate, reduce energy costs, and have been linked to numerous mental and physical health benefits to local residents. Furthermore, each year as the tree grows older and larger many of these benefits are multiplied.
Working with the City of Surrey’s team of arborists, this team will undertake a variety of maintenance and enhancement tasks on the network of Surrey’s boulevard and park shade trees, contributing to the longevity and vitality of our City’s thriving urban forest.
You can help by getting involved!
Contact us at 604-501-5158 to find out when SNAP will be in your neighbourhood or visit our website.