City of Surrey rendering of a new kids play area planned in Hawthorne Park, to be delivered with park improvements in 2018, and a “youth plaza” to be delivered in 2019. Watch the video to see more renderings. (City of Surrey photo)
Bad Video Embed Code

City of Surrey rendering of a new kids play area planned in Hawthorne Park, to be delivered with park improvements in 2018, and a “youth plaza” to be delivered in 2019. Watch the video to see more renderings. (City of Surrey photo)

PHOTOS: Renderings of proposed upgrades to Surrey’s Hawthorne Park

City of Surrey has released several images that show changes planned for the park

The City of Surrey has released renderings of proposed upgrades to Hawthorne Park, in the midst of embarking upon its 105 Avenue Connector Plan.

What do you think?

Meantime, as the city prepares to start clearing trees next month for the 105 Avenue Connector Project, opponents are ramping up efforts to halt the whole thing.

Following their decision to approve the controversial plan, the City of Surrey held a public meeting at Riverdale Elementary on Wednesday night.

While there was a positive response from some in attendance, opponents were out in full force, with “Save Hawthorne Park” badges.

One critic said she had seen enough of what the city had to offer.

“Once you destroy the earth, there’s no putting it back,” Sharon Buzik told the Now-Leader. “What’s going on in there makes me sick to my stomach. I had to leave, I couldn’t take much more.”

City council approved the project on Nov. 6 amid much controversy. The city insists the connector road is needed to reduce congestion in the area but more than 11,000 residents have voiced their opposition, largely due to the project’s plan to build a road through Hawthorne Park.

See also: Opponents vocal as Surrey staff hold public meeting on Hawthorne Park project

See also: Emotions high after Surrey approves controversial road through Hawthorne Park

About 10 staff members were on hand Wednesday evening to answer questions about a few dozen billboards that were set up in the school’s gymnasium.

“We’re here tonight to gather some input and show some information that we already received through our first Hawthorne Park master plan,” said City of Surrey parks manager Neal Aven. “Having the public’s input is important to us. It’s vital to hear what they have to say, and they’ve given some good input tonight.”

Grant Rice, with the Save Hawthorne Park group, said he wasn’t happy with the format the city chose to express their plans for the project.

“We wanted to have a town hall type meeting,” said Rice. “The fact that this is the way that the city has decided to go is pretty disappointing.”

Rice said the group wanted to have their voices heard by city councillors.

See also: VIDEO: ‘Save Hawthorne Park’ group delivers petition to Surrey City Hall – complete with a song

Not all of the reaction was negative, however.

Aven said he received “positive input” on some tweaks to the Hawthorne Park project, including relocation of the parking area along with upgrading and relocating the playground and water park.

Steven Pettigrew founded the Save Hawthorne Park group. He said he believes not everything coming out of city hall regarding Hawthorne Park is forthright.

“There is a blanket of misinformation,” Pettigrew said.

“It’s a real mess.”

One bone of contention Pettigrew has is how many trees the city plans to cut down, versus how many it intends to plant. While he said city reports mention cutting down trees that are more than 30 centimetres wide, they neglect to mention the size of replacement trees.

Pettigrew said the city’s public meeting doesn’t make up for some of the project’s fallacies.

“It doesn’t change anything, I’m very much concerned,” he said. “They’re gonna start knocking down trees in a month, but they haven’t finished all of the preparation… In spite of that, they still want to start building this road in the second week of January.”

Pettigrew and other opponents have been fighting the project for months and their frustration was evident Wednesday.

“We have a lot of people involved of this,” he said. “In spite of all of that, it doesn’t matter. What’s going on tonight doesn’t change anything.”

See also: LETTER: Councillor says Surrey made informed decision about Hawthorne Park

See also: LETTER FROM SURREY MAYOR: Misinformation about Hawthorne Park road plans

Meanwhile, the project is about to begin construction.

The city says it will take a phased implementation approach with the connector project overall, with work beginning in January, 2018 through to the end of 2020.

Roadwork from 140th to 144th Streets will begin in January and some tree clearing is also planned next month to avoid the bird nesting season, the city told the Now-Leader.

In February, the city plans to start construction of a new trail in the park that would connect to the Quibble Creek greenway, then embark on the wetland habitats, a new Hawthorne Park parking lot, as well as construction on Whalley Boulevard to 140th Street.

The existing spray park and playground will remain open through the 2018 high use months.

But a new playground is set to be built and completed in 2018.

In the 2018 off-season, a replacement water park will be built, with a targeted opening of the summer of 2019.

Transportation manager Phillip Bellefontaine said while it has been suggested the park will close down for a year while works go on, “it’s important to stress that’s not the case.”

Ahead of the Wednesday night meeting, city staff gave the Now-Leader a preview of the information to be shared.

“Our goals are really just to have the public have an opportunity to review our project history, the context of the project and what the goals of the project are, to see how their input over the last number of months has shaped project design because it has evolved since our initial plans,” said Rosemary Silva, Surrey’s engineering communications manager.

Silva pointed to many changes made to the 105 Avenue Connector Project as a “direct result” of public input, including a narrower road corridor through the park with only one travel lane in each direction; removing on-street parking for the planned road; removing the 142nd Street connection; more biodiversity enhancements such as a new wetland habitat and wildlife crossings; a new walking trail connected to the Quibble Creek Greenway; and relocating the park’s parking lot to 144th Street for better visibility and access.

The city also intends to replace trees, add a new salmon rearing habitat, build new washrooms, as well as new bike and walking trails, and sheltered picnic areas.

Silva said $3 million in park improvements were approved along with the roadworks on Nov. 6. Another $3 million will be spent on Hawthorne Park’s master plan, totalling $6 million of improvements to the park in all, said Silva.

So far, Silva said the city has heard a destination-scale playground with amenities for all ages is desired, a parkour area for youth is being considered, as is a dog off-leash area.

At the information meeting, the city also revealed that a recent independent consultant study indicated the park’s bog no longer contains many of the species and ecosystem that function as a bog.

“As a result, the new wetland habitat will enhance biodiversity not currently occurring,” a city document states. “In addition to the net 200 trees in the expanded park area, 500 replacement trees will be planted within the road corridor boulevards, meaning a total 700 trees will be added throughout the project area.”

The City of Surrey has also promised a one-acre net increase to the park’s size, through acquisition of adjacent lands.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There are only two EV-charging stations in Campbell Heights, one in Clayton, and one in Cloverdale—with an additional station currently under construction, according to plugshare.com The federal government recently announced Surrey is getting 40 more charging stations with construction to begin immediately. (Image via plugshare.com)
Chamber director hopes Cloverdale area not forgotten when new charging stations installed

New charging stations need be built in Cloverdale, Clayton, and Campbell Heights: Scott Wheatley

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Surrey residential construction. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey councillor says city needs more accessible housing

Linda Annis expected to introduce notice of motion to that end at tonight’s council meeting

RCMP Isp. Benoit Maure (top right) has written a book, Leading at the Edge, which details Canadian peacekeeping missions, including his own 1999 mission in Guatemala (bottom right). (Contributed photos)
Longtime RCMP officer pens book on Canadian peacekeeping efforts

RCMP Isp. Benoit Maure’s new book, Leading at the Edge, features stories from 10 missions

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Second doses delayed as B.C. vaccine delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read