West Cloverdale residents want to see what’s left of the Bose Forest preserved as a natural heritage spot rather than turned into a more developed outdoor amenity.
More than a year after 200 trees were razed to make way for new residential development, the forest is being turned into a new park.
Over the decades, the spot appears to have taken up residence in the minds or neighbours as a pastoral gem that symbolizes the heart of history Surrey that represents Cloverdale’s natural heritage, according to a draft community engagement summary prepared by the City of Surrey in June.
Thursday (Oct. 2), the city hosts another open house on what’s for now being called “Bose Park”, a mostly forested area of 7.4 hectares (18.3 acres) located between 62 and 64 Avenues, east of the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The city wants to maintain the site as a forested park with pathways, viewpoints, seating areas and space for natural play – and so do West Cloverdale residents, according to feedback compiled in the report.
The Oct. 2 meeting at A.J. McLellan Elementary (from 6 to 8 p.m.) is a follow-up to an initial open house held last spring, when residents were given an overview and asked to comment on the park’s design and highlight heritage aspects they felt were important.
Suggestions were also provided via an online survey.
According to respondents, the farm, established in 1892 by Henry Bose, who served as Surrey mayor (1905 to ‘09), and its surrounding forest is a treasured heritage landmark.
Most people said they wanted the forest preserved as a natural heritage site, and felt the name, “Bose”, should be retained in the name of the park, preferring by a wide margin both Bose Farm Park and Bose Park to a third suggestion, Meadowridge Park, liked by just seven per cent of respondents.
“I love the Bose Farm and the Bose family,” said one respondent. “They have been part of Cloverdale and Surrey for so many decades. The family works hard and the area is an important part of the physical detail of the area.”
Another added,” I love the idea of this place as a Surrey heritage site.”
Others said they prized the familiar view of the farmhouse buildings and barn, and the surrounding landscape rising along the hillside as they drive east on 64 Avenue.
There is one residential development underway on the north side of the original farm property, The Ridge, and a second pending. The heritage buildings on the site are being preserved as a condition of redevelopment, and part of the lands from both proposals are being dedicated as parkland.
Neighbours say they want the new park to have walking paths, trails, viewing areas and boardwalks and for the park to maintain view from the hill overlooking the Serpentine River Valley.
“[It] used to be an amazing forest and unfortunately our city is selling every piece of land and allowing builders to create crowded, Clayton-like neighbourhoods that proved to be a failure,” noted one commenter.
“Beautifully situated on a hill overlooking farmland and mountains,” added another.
“It has lots of trees and unfortunately too many have been cut down for more development.”
Others describe the area as one of the few locations in Cloverdale with a mature forest.
“It’s very important to the city, especially to the people of Cloverdale.”
Several respondents recalled fond memories of visiting the corn maze at the Bose Farm or the haunted house at Halloween created by Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary students.
“The Bose Farm has been a staple in the community as a gathering place and unique due to its forest,” added one.
Some residents along 61A Avenue said they were concerned about walking trails being located so close to backyards, so it’s suggested a planted buffer be placed along the rear to mitigate public use impact.
Other amenities people would like to see include natural area enhancements like bird boxes, native plantings and the removal of invasive species. A parking lot and picnic are were also popular.
The concept options will be available online soon.
The park design will be refined into a single option that will be presented to the Parks, Recreation and Sport Tourism Committee, then to city council prior to detailed design and construction.
For more information, visit http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/14878.aspx.