Retired forester Roy Strang says learning opportunities for students abound in Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest.

Sunnyside Acres’ ‘outdoor laboratory’ overlooked

When it comes to learning about natural history in South Surrey, Roy Strang can think of few better places to do so than in Sunnyside Acres.

When it comes to learning about natural history on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, Roy Strang can think of few better places to do so than in Sunnyside Acres.

But the retired forester – who was among champions behind the City of Surrey’s 1988 dedication of the 130-hectare heritage South Surrey forest – says few students are benefiting from the “outdoor laboratory,” despite repeated offers by its Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society caretakers to local schools of free, guided tours.

“I’m increasingly frustrated,” Strang said.

“They haven’t even acknowledged our letters and none of the local schools will take advantage of this outdoor laboratory.”

Strang, a former environment columnist for Peace Arch News, said tour offers have been extended for the past three years as part of efforts to mark National Forest Week, held in September. Qualified people are available to lead the tours, and would explain the area’s heritage, along with how the forest has continued to recover, he said.

“They’re passing up the opportunity to explore something which is Surrey’s heritage,” Strang said.

“It’s there, available at no cost except their time.”

Doug Strachan, spokesman for the Surrey School District, told PAN he wasn’t aware of the specific offer, but said such opportunities are distributed to educators through the district’s business-development department.

It’s up to teachers to decide if they want to take advantage of it.

“It really is dependent on the schools, and the teachers ultimately decide,” Strachan said.

SAHS member Dee Walmsley said last week that when she initially inquired about offering the tours, she was directed to a fee scale for dispensing information to Surrey schools. Based on the information from Strachan, she plans to reach out to the business development department, and is awaiting further instruction from the SAHS board.

Strachan, meanwhile, said he plans to bring the opportunity to the attention of at least one principal.

Others teachers, administrators or groups interested in booking tours can reach Strang at roymstrang@gmail.com

Just Posted

Residents getting chance to tell Surrey council what they think of draft budget

We’ll be reporting live from Finance Committee meeting, set to begin at 4 p.m. at Surrey City Hall

Row, row, row your car, down a Surrey road

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s raining outside

‘Urgent’ need for toys, cash at Surrey Christmas Bureau depot

A record 1,924 families registered with organization, at old Stardust site

Cloverdale trauma coach’s first book focuses on hope and recovery

Manyi Ebot experienced her own share of trauma, and hopes her story and research can help others

Power outage in South Surrey and White Rock

More than 3,000 customers impacted

Heavy rain, wind cause power outages in White Rock

Chance of showers throughout the evening

Flooding shuts down Columbia Station on Expo Line

TransLink says riders will be bused to connecting Expo and Millennium Line stations

UBCO prof pitches passenger rail service in Okanagan

UBC Okanagan engineering prof envisions tram train from Okanagan to Kamloops

Famous giant tortoise DNA may hold fountain of youth: UCBO

After Lonesome George’s death he still provides clues to longer life

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

First Nation sues Alberta, says oilsands project threatens sacred site

Prosper Petroleum’s $440-million, 10,000-barrel-a-day plans have been vigorously opposed by Fort McKay

North Okanagan site of first RCMP naloxone test project

Free kits, training to be provided to high-risk individuals who spend time in cell blocks

1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

Man arrested after ruckus in Sumas and Abbotsford on Thursday night

More B.C. Indigenous students graduating high school: report

70% of Indigenous students graduated, compared to 86% across all B.C. students

Most Read