A “regionally significant destination” in South Surrey is to receive $1.5 million in improvements over the next two years, following Surrey council’s unanimous support last week for a ‘master plan’ for Glades Park.
“This plan will enhance the gardens, create a cohesive park, allow us to have more frequent openings…” Ted Uhrich, City of Surrey’s parks planning manager, told council in presenting the Glades Park Master Plan Feb. 20.
The park is located at 561 172 St.
First purchased in 1956 by Lydia and Murray Stephen, then bought in 1994 by Jim and Elfriede DeWolf, the site was gifted to the city in 2002, and has been expanded over the years – most recently in 2015 – to 15 acres from five.
Described as “a beautiful, woodland garden park,” it features rhododendrons, azaleas, exotic trees and shrubs. It is a popular spot among garden enthusiasts, and a much-anticipated destination come Mother’s Day, when it is opened for a tea and tour.
Last year, that one event drew more than 1,400 people to the garden, Uhrich said.
The free Sounds of Summer music series – taking place this summer on Wednesdays – is also held at the garden, typically drawing around 200 guests.
Uhrich said the planned improvements – which include a 48-stall parking lot, new accessible path loops, a new entrance to maintain the DeWolf’s privacy and development of a natural amphitheatre – will increase opportunities to open the garden in 2018.
Mayor Linda Hepner told council she was “just delighted” to see that the garden will be made more accessible.
Coun. Barbara Steele thanked the DeWolfs, and said the improved garden “will be a huge boon to tourism in the city.”
Funds to implement the plan have been allocated in the city’s five-year capital plan, with $500,000 in 2017 and $1 million in 2018.
Construction of the parking lot and access driveways is anticipated to get underway following the Sounds of Summer series.