Sybil Rowe in her Grandview neighbourhood. (Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey urged to dedicate ‘magnificent’ grove of mature trees

‘This is truly special. I want it named. I want it kept,’ says Surrey’s Sybil Rowe

SOUTH SURREY — A dedicated and passionate tree advocate in South Surrey is urging city hall to preserve a “beautiful and magnificent” grove of about 50 mature trees in Grandview Heights.

“It would mean the earth to me to save it,” said Sybil Rowe, noting the grove includes about 40 large cedars and 10 douglas firs near 168th Street and 25th Avenue. “I’d be devastated (if they came down) because I love these fellas. I don’t have children so basically this is my little legacy. When I leave this planet one day, I’m going to be 82 in the fall, I would like to think there will be some of these magnificent trees standing for grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

Rowe estimated the cedars were over 130 years old, but the city couldn’t confirm their age. While it looked like there may have been a threat to the trees, they appear to be safe – for now.

A new 1,500-capacity Grandview Heights secondary school is planned in the area. Initially, the plan was to have the school built close to the intersection at 168th Street and 26th Avenue and these trees were part of the land to be developed.

“Originally, the plan was to have the school up closer to the intersection at 168th Street but that has since changed, so that grove, isn’t part of the school property anymore,” said Ted Uhrich with Surrey’s parks department.

The grove, on city-owned land, is going to be left untouched for now.

“The cedars and douglas firs in there are definitely mature,” said Uhrich, adding “they are also important because they represent mature forest in Grandview Heights so that’s important to acknowledge.”

He noted that while the city still plants cedars, they’re “tough to establish” because they “like to have wet feet.”

“We plant them in projects where we have a focus on native species,” he said. “But they are challenging.”

At some point, the city plans to consult with the community to see what to do with the property, he added. Recent changes in the area include the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre nearby. But Uhrich said when that consultation will happen is “to be determined.”

Rowe wants to see the trees dedicated. She worries about the future of cedars in Surrey – particularly new ones that are planted – as they struggle to survive amidst climate change.

“This little cedar grove is my heart’s desire,” she said.

“This little cedar grove is my heart’s desire,” she said. “I don’t care if they name the darn thing after the mayor and call it Linda’s Park, as long as they keep it.”

amy.reid@ surreynowleader.com

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect of interest ID’d after man shot near Surrey school

Police don’t know what motive was in shooting near Surrey-Delta border

Santa pics help Langley charity

The jolly old elf is aiding a scholarship and a sponsored Christmas Bureau family.

Double graves coming to Surrey civic cemeteries for the first time

Surrey council approves cemetery bylaw changes, which will also allow upright headstones

Cloverdale’s Christmas shopping kicks off with Ladies’ Night Out next week

Check out Cloverdale businesses, vendors, and more Thursday, Nov. 30

VIDEO: MP details what gang and housing announcements mean for Surrey

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks about recent funding commitments

South Surrey traffic busy on Black Friday

Traffic slow across region as shoppers search for deals

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Last days for notorious homeless camp in Chilliwack River Valley

One local sports fisher frustrated by slow response from police and all levels of government

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Most Read