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Event to raise awareness of threat to South Surrey river, farmland this weekend

South Campbell Heights land is slated for development, but organizers of the event want it spared
A Rocha Farm is located in Surrey and works to preserve habitats for species and grows sustainable foods. (Hilary Green photo/Contributed)

Environmental advocates say they are not planning to simply roll over in the wake of plans to turn parts of South Campbell Heights into industrial property, but will instead host an awareness event and continue to urge the City of Surrey to preserve existing stands of trees, pasture and farmland surrounding the Little Campbell River, also known as Ta’talu.

READ ALSO: Metro Vancouver board endorses Surrey’s South Campbell Heights development plan

The event is scheduled for Saturday, July 9 at A Rocha’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre located on the 1600 block of 192 Street. A Rocha is an organization committed to caring for the environment through education, sustainable agriculture and conservation science.

The Ta’talu Festival, the first of its kind, aims to showcase for the public the beauty of the area and inspire them to get involved in helping save the surrounding land from development, said Heidi Greco, an organizer of the event.

“As we’ve seen from the development of North Campbell Heights, this means parking lots and warehouses, despite the fact that the proposed area rests above the Brookswood Aquifer, which supplies wells in both South Surrey and Langley,” she said.

The Little Campbell River watershed is home to various types of wildlife and plant species, including some species of fish that are at risk, A Rocha states on its website. The river flows from Langley through to South Surrey and into Semiahmoo Bay and would be “in peril from such development,” Greco said.

READ ALSO: Stream of consciousness – stewards worry over fate of Little Campbell River

In a 69-65 vote on Feb. 25, Metro Vancouver’s board signed off on the City of Surrey’s request to move the region’s urban containment boundary, paving the way for mixed industrial use in environmentally-sensitive South Campbell Heights.

“It’s fingers crossed that the City of Surrey will do as it’s said it will regarding due diligence regarding the aquifer, wetlands, and the salmon-bearing Tatalu, which runs through lands of the Semiahmoo First Nation,” Greco said.

Ta’talu Festival will be on Saturday, July 9 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at A Rocha Farm, located at 1620 192 St. Attendees are welcome to bring the whole family, but are asked to leave their furry friends at home.

READ ALSO: Petition launched to save Surrey farm from being developed for industrial use


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Sobia Moman

About the Author: Sobia Moman

Sobia Moman is a news and features reporter with the Peace Arch News.
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