Tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of the storm that ravaged Stanley Park one night, uprooting tens of thousands of trees and gnashing through the sea wall. Over the last year I’ve kept a close eye on the park, and have many photos and blog posts to illustrate the lack of progress and frustration in regards to the use of “$4 million of $9.5 million” in restoration funds.
According to the Vancouver parks board’s director of special projects, Jim Lowden, the progress has been “quite satisfying.” So far, the following work has been done:
– The felling and removal of dangerous trees and clearing of debris and brush is 70-per-cent complete.
– Three thousand of the planned 15,000 to 16,000 new trees have been planted. The rest will be planted in late February and early March.
– Temporary repairs have been made to the seawall and permanent repairs will be made in the spring.
– Cliff stabilization is about 80-per-cent complete.
To come are changes to Prospect Point and the establishment of educational and interpretive legacies such as signs, programs and static and interactive displays. [The Province]
After being closed for a year the sea wall is still just “temporarily fixed” and it was actually closed within a week of reopening due to a mud slide. At Prospect Point the area the size of a soccer pitch was clearcut to make room for more parking. With that in mind the tomorrow’s “tree planting ceremony” has become just that, a ceremony for tourists.
A tree-planting ceremony will be held tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Prospect Point picnic area. The event will mark the anniversary and honour the four lead donors to the park’s rehabilitation. [The Province]
Although I’m glad they didn’t mention anything about animatronic dinosaurs it seems like the Parks Board (or whichever governing body is in charge of all this) doesn’t seem to realize that people go to Stanley Park because it’s a PARK… not Science World.
We’re still going to enjoy the park for what it is, a beautiful woodland filled with streams, ancient mossy cedars, challenging running paths and breathtaking lookouts. I think the last couple million dollars should be used to (finally) stabilize the sea wall and replant trees. If more trees are cut to make room for parking, and interpretive centres crop up alongside glossy signs that replace nurse logs at the side of trails telling us what nature is, Vancouver will be closer than ever to closing its crown jewel.
On a side note, an excellent alternative to the horribly crowded and heart-stoppingly expensive “Bright Night in Stanley Park” train is the Stanley Park Ecology Society‘s Humbug Holiday Hike:
Our 30-minute Christmas-themed nature walk takes you and your lantern into the wooded areas along the Christmas train route with nothing but a Humbug to guide you! Find out which Christmas traditions Humbugs really don’t like and learn about the new Humbug-approved Christmas traditions that they would like everyone to adopt. [SPES]
That’s something I can get behind and it doesn’t involve extra parking stalls or fancy displays. It’s a simple guided walk. The Humbug Hikes run every day from 5:00pm to 9:00pm, on the hour. Tickets are $5 for Adults, $3 for kids, children two and under are free. The starting point and ticket window are located at the Humbug Holiday Hike tent on-site in the train yard, or reservations can be made from Tuesday through Friday by calling (604) 257-6907.
Also, if you are heading to Stanley Park for Bright Nights, the #19 Bus (Metrotown/Stanley Park) is an excellent alternative to driving in.