Neighbours despair over Bose forest denizens

Part of the Bose forest will be turned into a City of Surrey park, preserving wildlife habitat and significant trees.

Cloverdale resident Jason Koning snapped what he considers a poignant and symbolic photo of a blue heron perching on wood debris left behind this month when crews began cutting down part of the Bose forest.

When crews began cutting down part of the Bose Forest early this month to make way for new residential development on the heritage farm site, not all the neighbours were happy to see them go.

In August, nearly 50 people turned out to protest the removal of more than 200 trees at the historic farm.

And more than 500 people signed a petition asking Surrey City Hall to reverse its decision to allow the development to proceed, according to the Save the Bose Forest Facebook group.

Opponents were concerned that the development would destroy hundreds of trees, displace local wildlife and add more pressure on schools and traffic congestion.

The trees came down the first week of September.

“It’s such a sad sound – and sight,” Michelle Boyer wrote on the Save the Bose Forest page. “Totally heartbreaking.”

“All that life destroyed. So sad,” added Christine Turner.

Cloverdale resident Jason Koning, 32, surveyed the deforestation a week later, after hosting a Block Watch barbecue where guests expressed shock at the amount of trees that had been cut down.

He called the situation “inevitable” and added opponents did their best to fight for the preservation of the trees, but laments that more trees couldn’t be saved.

So he decided to take a closer look.

At about 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, he walked his dog Nakia through the area, which is a few blocks from his home.

“I was hoping to snap a picture of a bird in the area to get people’s attention,” he said.

To his surprise, in the distance, he saw a heron sitting on a pile of wood debris, looking “completely sad and in shock as well,” he recalls.

He pulled out his cell phone and drew closer, hoping to take a photograph of the bird.

He was amazed that he and Nakia, an American pit bull, were able to get so close without it flying away.

It didn’t budge while he snapped dozens of shots, even as the pair got as close as 12 feet.

http://raven.b-it.ca/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wTreesExectiveHomes.jpg“Sad to see,” he says. “But a great photo for people to ponder about how many animals and birds have lost their home.”

The Pacific Blue Heron, he notes, is an endangered species.

He hopes the photo will help convince people to stop “some people from bulldozing with disregard.”

While he did head out that morning hoping to take a picture of a bird, he didn’t expect it to actually happen.

“God placed that bird there,” he says. “Believe it or not, I prayed for the moment to happen, and the next day it happened. It was amazing.”

A couple of days later, he says, he watched as a heron flew over the playground at the elementary school.

Until the trees came down, he’d never seen herons in the area before, adding to his concern, only rabbits, woodpeckers and eagles. “It’s just a shame.”

New park will protect habitat

A portion of the Bose forest is being turned into a six-hectare  (15 acre) park, preserving significant trees and habitat for birds and wildlife, according to Ted Uhrich, manager of parks planning for the City of Surrey.

There are two residential developments pending on the farm. Its heritage buildings are being preserved, and part of the lands from both proposals are being dedicated as parkland, Uhrich added.

“That’s good news for the birds and all the other animals,” he said. The site has been identified as important in the city’s biodiversity conservation strategy.

In 2014, planning and park design will begin, a process that will include community consultation.

While the primary focus of the new park is habitat and tree protection, amenities could include walking trails and viewpoints.

While an arborist report was done as part of the development approval process at city hall, the forest hasn’t had an environmental assessment, Uhrich said. But that’s something that will be done for the park.

“It’s a really important resource for the city,” he said. “People who drive across 64 Avenue see that area and associate it with the Bose Farm.”

It’s an important heritage asset, he added.

“It’s part of what makes Surrey beautiful. It’s sort of a gateway for Cloverdale.”

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook.

Just Posted

Langley organizers invite special guest to Gone Country

Cancer fundraising, day-long concert sold out more than a month and a half ahead of Saturday’s event

‘Kim’s Convenience’ keeps Surrey actor busy when not working as church pastor in Guildford

Award-nominated James Yi will again play shop owner at Surrey Arts Centre next winter

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in South Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

South Surrey woman excited to ‘tell the world Canada is open for business’

Aashina Singh aims to promote Metro Vancouver companies in Singapore and Malaysia

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes near Agassiz

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read