‘Unconcert’ laments possible loss of trees at Green Timbers Urban Forest

Surrey piano teacher plays as a kind of musical protest.

Linda Prai plays piano on a path at Green Timbers Urban Forest in Surrey on Tuesday

SURREY — When she grew more and more concerned about how Green Timbers Urban Forest is “under threat from a thousand cuts,” Linda Prai did what she knows best.

She played piano.

In a kind of musical protest on a recent Tuesday afternoon, Prai, a piano teacher, performed on a keyboard brought to a forest path, near the parking lot off 100th Avenue, and she set up again in a field at Surrey Nature Centre that evening.

The serene music she played only added to the relative tranquility of the park, which is threatened by proposed road widening and development.


“I’m just trying to raise awareness of hey, you know, we have this wonderful Stanley Park of Surrey, why are we chipping away at it bit by bit?” Prai, who lives nearby, told the Now prior to what she called an “unconcert” in the forest.

As she performed, members of Green Timbers Heritage Society distributed flyers detailing the proposed widening of both 100th Avenue and Fraser Highway.

The group is also concerned about development plans for a parcel of land in the northwest corner of the “square mile” of Green Timbers, off 140th Street. There, the city wants to build a complex of shelters, care facilities, housing, offices and a bio-energy facility.

SEE ALSO: Surrey council gives thumbs up to civic development near Green Timbers forest.

The widening of 100th Avenue will “isolate the northern bit” of the forest even more, the group claims. Even worse, they say, Fraser Highway could one day expand greatly in order to accommodate more lanes for traffic, public transit, pedestrians and cyclists.

“We’re very concerned that the forest is becoming fragmented, and Fraser Highway could be three times the width it is now,” said Ellen Edwards, a director of the heritage society.

“We feel maybe they can widen it somewhere else, not through the forest,” she said.

(PICTURED: Annie Kaps directs motorists on 100th Avenue to website with online petition.)

Fellow group member Deanna Welters agrees, and also worries about the erosion of greenspace in the park.

“Nature doesn’t happen, bang, overnight the way the trees fall overnight, so when you put an edge to a forest, the forest naturally grades its own edge over decades and centuries,” she said. “And if you trim that, those root systems, those borderline ecosystems are different from the interior forest. The damage will be far greater than what’s visible immediately. The degradation begins there.”

Edwards has deep roots in the forest, so to speak.

“My father was one of the planters of this forest during the 1930s, and he was very active when they started up the Green Timbers Heritage Society to do the trails and get things going, so I’ve been carrying on that passion,” she said. “I’ve watched this place grow from little trees to great big tall ones over the years.”

The society urges those concerned by development pressures on the park to sign a petition, posted at Savegreentimbers.ca.

During Prai’s “unconcert,” passersby could also detail in writing, on a sheet of cardboard, their favourite aspects of the forest.

“I’m betting nobody writes that we need more cars and wider roadways here,’” Prai said.



Just Posted

Team BC defeats its hosts at junior curling nationals Sunday

Tyler Tardi and his team have played and won three games in the Canadian championships, so far.

UPDATE: Olympic softball qualifier to be held in Surrey

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

Surrey resident to speak about erasing Alzheimer’s disease stigma

A goal of Dona McMorland is to erase stigma attached to the disease

Vehicle rollover in Surrey

Surrey Fire Service responded to the collision on the 19500-block of 60 Avenue

VIDEO: Three-peat for Semiahmoo at basketball’s Surrey RCMP Classic

South Surrey-based squad tops Lord Tweedsmuir in final at Enver Creek gym

REPLAY: B.C’s best videos this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

‘Gotti’ leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

The nominations were announced on Monday, Jan. 21 with some movies earning up to six nominations

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

Most Read