Queen Elizabeth Park Gets the Axe


Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 8:46am PST
Comments 20

I’ve been on a rollercoaster ride when it comes to how I feel about the Vancouver Parks Board. On one hand they offer some great low-cost services for residents and on the other they annihilated my beloved Stanley Park to make room for more tourist parking.

Still busted

mother nature didnt do *this*
Not a clearcut by Mother Nature

Another Parking Lot – Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

The latest news this morning has finally tipped me over the edge: “Queen Elizabeth Park is right up there on the list of important, local tourist attractions. It’s also one of the region’s most spectacular green spaces. The great park could soon lose a number of its precious trees. As many as 70 trees could be axed, and all so you can enjoy the city skyline a little better. In the last few years, the clear view of downtown from Queen Elizabeth Park’s highest point has become obstructed by trees.” [News1130]


Photo credit: Rod Templeton on Flickr

Really, are you kidding me? Remember the story of that woman in the West End that was poisoning trees so that she could restore her ocean front view? How is the Parks Board any better? Why don’t they just throw some dinosaurs up there instead? (end rant)

If you would like to voice your opinions (and get more information about the Tree Management Plan) you can visit the Vancouver Parks Board website and fill out a survey. You can also drop by the Celebration Pavillion today.

I understand fully that tourism is our number one industry but if we’re chopping down all the trees we’re losing the very attraction all these folks are coming to see: Vancouver’s natural beauty.

Current contests on Miss604.com

20 comments

  1. Beth says:

    That’s awful! Is there time to complain to the Parks Board, or is this a done deal?

  2. Tyler Ingram says:

    Now if I remember correctly the Vancouver skyline is harder to see than it used to be. This looking from the area of the restaurant and it is a really nive view of Vancouver. But to chop the trees down does in fact suck. Though you can’t really transplant them somewhere else right? I have other stories where residents have ‘topped’ trees that imped their view of the city on the North Shore. Though I have also heard of residents removing trees completely but then have issues with landslides because the trees’ root systems hold the soil in place. Especially those living on the hills.

  3. Al says:

    I don’t feel bad about this one. QE Park is for the view, Stanley Park is for the trees. Short term pain, long term gain.

    Tyler says the rest best.

  4. Luc says:

    I’m afraid that news1130 is using sensationalist headlines. I suggest that anyone interested in this subject joins the meeting this Thu. to get the facts straight.

    I attended a former meeting. The dramatic “axe 70 trees” is purely spreading disinformation. The facts are:
    – the trees are not rare ones, they’re quite common. This is erally small scale compared to the logging industry which is a major one in BC (or was).
    – new low-growing trees/plants will be planted two-for-one.

    There were suggestions to build an observation tower so that visitors can enjoy the view. However the city rejected it, because everyone should be able to enjoy the view for free, without a monstrous new construction in the neighbourhood.

  5. Miss604 says:

    I know QE Park used to be a quarry so whatever state it’s in now is a vast improvement, I’m just hesitant whenever it comes to cutting or destroying nature so that we can enjoy nature.

    @Luc – Yes, there is a meeting, I’ll update the post to mention that. The observation tower would have been terrible as well… not sure where the “win” in this case would be.

  6. Mom604 says:

    QE Park is just that. It is a Park…not a look-out point. You can get a view of the city from many other locations.

  7. In many places, I’d be with you on the trees. I’m an environmentalist with a biology degree. Deforestation and climate change concern me.

    But in this case there is very little natural about QE Park. It is a quarry that became a park, and it’s a landscaped environment essentially nothing like what grew there 150 or 200 years ago. We cut trees in this city all the time — to build houses, to clear hazards, to redirect roads, to build bridges, to plant other growing things. We’re not looking at an old-growth forest on Little Mountain, but an artificial green environment that people created and that people, through the Parks Board, will adjust for our own enjoyment.

    If we accept the argument that cutting trees in QE Park is a bad idea, we shouldn’t mow our lawns, trim our hedges, or prune our gardens either. And I don’t see the logic of considering trees to be sacred just because they’ve gotten big and are older than some people are. Why not take the cutting of those 70 trees to encourage, say, 700 or 7000 Vancouver homeowners to plant trees on their properties for a 10-to-1 or 100-to-1 replacement ratio across the city?

    I think wanting to preserve those particular trees distracts from the kinds of environmental concerns we should really put our minds to.

  8. P.S. I do you agree with you that the new Prospect Point parking area sucks, though. Not only is it a bad use for what the windstorms did, it’s ugly. Actually, I think that site would have been a great spot for people to watch how somewhat natural reforestation occurs over the coming decades.

  9. Chris says:

    Theres nothing really natural about QE Park — its just a big garden, and every garden needs pruning to make it look pretty. This is my old hood, and if we can get back the view that I remember seeing in the late 80’s/early 90’s, I think it would be great for everyone. Luc’s comments only confirm my lack of concern. Perhaps they should axe some trees around Nat Bailey too.. free baseball game!

  10. ray irvine says:

    This is a park not a forest. We cut the grass. We plant non-native species of plants. Why are trees any different? I say do what has to be done to protect the spectacular views.

  11. mort-y says:

    Views of what? Concrete and glass? Wow! Let me have a look!

  12. kulpreet singh says:

    I’m not sure why some people feel that it’s wrong to point out these type of things. What I mean is just because someone says cutting down 70 trees at QE park is wrong, doesn’t mean we can’t also campaign for every homeowner to grow a tree on their property. If you see litter on the ground in your favourite park, [I hope] you don’t think, “instead of picking up this litter, why don’t I start a campaign for litter removal from all BC parks?” If something in your immediate circle of influence is bothering you, you can manage to work on it while still keeping in mind the bigger picture.

  13. Raul says:

    I also have mixed feelings. I hate any sort of tree-cutting that is non-health related (as indicated above by Derek and others, there are some times when some trees must be cut). However, I kind of disagree on pruning on the basis of “the view”. If the cutting is due to legitimate concerns about the park’s health, fine. If not, then I am not 100% sold on it.

  14. Tyler Ingram says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/05/30/bc-queen-elizabeth-tree-cutting.html

    I’ve on the fence about the observation platform. I mean if they can make it look somewhat natural and not an eye sore I don’t see it being a problem.

    Though where exactly are the trees that are wanting to be cut down? Are they near the restaurant? If the view from the restaurant is gone that would suck. It was the only reason why would make reservations to eat there.

  15. Graeme Lawson says:

    I just wanted to say it really bugs me when people think that cutting down 70 trees to improve their view is OK. The parks boards’ idea of the word ‘view’ seems very one-dimensional. They should consider the view of the park itself and the views one sees inside the park, not just the view of the city from the park. Do we not go to the park to get away from the city? The park board must have very little to do and think about to make this an issue.

  16. Ian Bell says:

    Um, don’t we go to great big parks full of fluffy trees to escape the city? Why the fuck would I want to look at a bunch of buildings from a beautiful park?

  17. Guy Cross says:

    Look…. the point is that there’s no shortage of beautiful views from QE Park and these views are all the more attractive because of the trees. Please spare us the Kodak moment! As far as views go… what we need to prune is the ever growing height of downtown towers that is well out-pacing the growth of trees and rapidly obstructing the views to nature that make Vancouover a special place. The focus should be on preserving views of the North Shore mountains from the city’s core rather than views of the city’s core from our parks.
    Contact the Vancouver Park Board @ 604-257-8400 or pbcomment@vancouver.ca and say NO to clear cutting our parks!
    http://vancouver.ca/parks/feedback/index.shtml

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