Amanda Fraser and sons Barret

‘Fairy house’ blitz may lead to revamp

Families upset after Redwood Park offerings found in pieces

Dozens of tiny houses that some say create a “magical” experience for many visitors to Redwood Park – particularly young visitors – were found in pieces over the weekend.

“I’m so sad about this,” Amanda Fraser said Wednesday, as she wandered the miniature neighbourhood during a visit to the South Surrey forest with her sons, Brooks and Barret.

Four houses that the family had contributed a month ago are among those no longer there.

The ‘fairy house’ phenomena began at the park more than a dozen years ago, after a devoted park visitor placed ‘fairy doors’ at the base of a couple of trees.

Before the damage this past weekend, it’s estimated the volume of colourful houses – placed on logs, hung on branches, or hammered or screwed into tree trunks or stumps – had grown to number in the hundreds.

Now, just a few dozen remain.

DamageBut while the damage was upsetting to parks users who make the forest a routine destination – a number of whom turned out Wednesday to help clean up – City of Surrey parks officials say it may be the catalyst for establishing guidelines on the practice of adding the fairy houses to the forest, located at 17900 20 Ave.

Urban forestry and environmental manager Neal Aven acknowledged the popularity of the “whimsical” neighbourhood in the approximately one hectare of park space, but said a solution to mitigate the unintended damage it does to the forest is needed.

Hammering and screws into live trees are detrimental to the trees’ health, and much of the area’s understory is being trampled as well-meaning visitors add to the enchanted village, he said.

“What we want to do is find a balance,” he said, naming encouraging the use of natural materials and discouraging the unintended damage as among goals that may be addressed through a community process. “We’re trying to manage the natural area.”

Fraser, a south Langley resident, and other park visitors said they’re determined to rebuild.

Veronica Sharma described news that the damage was likely intentional as “crushing.”

“I was shocked,” the Cloverdale resident said, as she picked up pieces of the houses from the forest floor. “Whoever did this, these are children’s dreams.”

Karen Klassen-Johnson came out with her children, Sierra, Chase and Kylan, to help out.

She agreed education to ensure the houses don’t have a detrimental effect is important.

Sierra, 12, said she couldn’t understand why anyone would do the damage done.

“What’s the point?” she said. “It’s harming everybody that comes here.”

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP need help finding missing 41-year-old man

Todd Schneider was last seen at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the 13500-block of Crestview Drive

New West mayor says Surrey won’t be left out in transit 10-year plan

Jonathan Cote one of two speakers at luncheon focusing on transportation, land use planning

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside North Delta elementary school

The officer was intervening in an alleged assault outside of Immaculate Conception School when he and the woman were stabbed

Suspect charged after four Surrey banks were robbed in just four hours

Financial institutions in North Surrey targeted on Feb. 12

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

5 to start your day

Two people are in critical condition after stabbing, searchers recover body of missing snowshoer and more

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Most Read