A long-term ecological enhancement project in an area of New Westminster known as the Glenbrook Ravine is beginning Saturday, May 13.
Historically, “Glenbrook Ravine Park was the first public park in the Colony of British Columbia. When the city was established in 1859, Colonel Moody wrote a letter to the Governor of the Colony of B.C: “The woods are magnificent, superb beyond description but most vexatious to a surveyor and the first dwellers in a town. I declare without the least sentimentality, I grieve and mourn the ruthless destruction of these most glorious trees. What a grand old Park this whole hill would make! I am reserving a very beautiful glen and adjoining ravine for the People and Park. I have already named it ‘Queen’s Ravine’…
The restoration of the parts of this area that have fallen victim to invasive species over the years is our goal. We are hoping to reclaim the ravine over a few years, to create an area for locals to come and enjoy a connection to BC’s oldest public park. In addition to removing invasive species, we aim to construct some wildlife habitat features (bird and bat houses specifically), to plant some new trees where invasives have been removed, and to possibly incorporate temporary signage (partnering with local artists, after consulting with the City) to provide some information to people using the park.
Involvement from the two residents associations that border the Glenbrook Ravine is one of the main goals of the project. As this will be an ongoing project, we expect different people will get involved at different times. A mid to end of summer big weekend cleanup and bird/bat house installation event is also planned. Based on the results of this year, we hope to expand to other areas of the ravine in subsequent years.
We will also be partnering with the local Beavers/Cubs and Brownies/Guides groups. This will help get young people educated about local ecological issues, will teach them how to remove invasive plant species and build wildlife housing, and will give them a sense of connection with this place for years to come. We have discussed reaching out to NWSS to see if the environmental club would be interested in getting involved. The Beavers/Cubs/Brownies/Guides will have their first day on Saturday, June 17.
The first year will be along the elevated area, approximately 300 metres in from the Glenbrook Amenities Centre, that we walked along during our site visit a few weeks ago (photo below). A few individuals may also choose to remove the ivy from the trees on the opposite side of the ravine pathway of the elevated area. Depending on how successful May 13 is and if we receive some funding, a follow-up meeting will be set up for Saturday, June 11.
As the kick-off will occur before we have any confirmed funding, the following items would be welcome to help our first day go as smoothly as possible:
- thick gloves
- [reusable] bottle of water
- dress in layers
Free parking is available at the Glenbrook Park Amenities Centre (76 Jamieson Ct.), which will also serve as our meeting area at 10:00 on May 13. If you arrive late, you can simply follow the trail up the ravine until you find everyone.
If there are any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me by email (preferably) or phone (if necessary). firstname.lastname@example.org or 778.228.5953