Community Papers

Prehistoric play: West Cloverdale’s community dinosaur garden

On any given afternoon, you can expect to find all manner of creatures while walking through one of Cloverdale’s parks. Any careful observer can spot squirrels, raccoons, mice, or one of the 200 bird species that make their home in Surrey.

But a new hidden garden in west Cloverdale holds sights that haven’t been seen in Surrey for millions of years. The community dinosaur garden, tucked into a small wooded area along 163 Street near Bose Forest Park, has six habitats filled with Quetzalcoatlus, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptors and more.

The Reporter caught up with a few of the garden’s caretakers on Wednesday (April 19) for a tour of the garden.

Kayden Koehn, 4, is a founding member of the garden. He and his mom, Maria, started it last weekend and it has already become quite popular.

Soon after arriving, they were joined by a group of kids and parents from the neighbourhood who had brought their own dinosaurs to join in on the fun.

From left: Kate Goss (10), Danika Ball (5), Kayden Koehn (4), Hunter Goss (10) and Julia Ball (2). Sam Anderson

The “garden” is a collection of small hutches containing dinosaur toys. All are welcome to bring a dinosaur to add to the garden or to come by to take photos or play, but Kayden asks that you please don’t take a dinosaur with you – it is a community garden, after all.

“Ever since we moved here two years ago, we’ve been walking through this space … it’s such a nice open area to play in here,” said Maria. “I thought it’d be cool if we could build a treehouse or a rope swing or something.”

Kayden, however, has a heart that belongs to dinosaurs, so the two decided to build a project that included his favourite reptiles.

He discovered his passion during a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller last year.

The garden, although unique, is modelled after Redwood Park’s fairy garden, which has a village of “micro-dwellings” in the forest with houses ranging from the size of bird houses to match boxes.

“This is sort of going off that concept,” said Maria. “It’s so magical to see everyone adding to it.”

Maria plans to pursue a neighbourhood enhancement grant from the City of Surrey sometime in the future to help build the garden. But for now, the small dinosaur-themed oasis remains a hidden treasure in the Cloverdale woods.

Its caretakers are small, and small in number, but they’re very passionate and knowledgeable about what they do.

“There’s a velociraptor,” said Kayden, pointing out a dinosaur from the herd. “I don’t know what that one is,” he admitted, gesturing to its neighbour.

He was able to share the name of the last one in the line up. “That one’s a Micropachycephalosaurus, I think,” he said.

If you’d like to take your own tour of the community dinosaur garden, you can find it in a wooded area along 163 Street between 61A and 60 Avenues. Finding the site is half the fun, according to Maria.

For more information, including a map, visit the West Coast Community Dinosaur Garden group on Facebook.

 

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