Fears of another campground

Residents concerned about quiet ravine. - The News/files
Residents concerned about quiet ravine.
— image credit: The News/files

Editor, The News:

Congratulations to Maple Ridge council and Chances Maple Ridge, (Great Canadian Gaming Corp.) These two organizations, well known for bringing “good” things to Maple Ridge, have put their heads together and come up with a way to rid our community of a nasty bit of forest between 225th and 227th streets. (The News, Aug. 8)

This forest provides shelter to bears, cougars, coyotes, deer, racoons, and countless birds.

Once completed, most of those dangers to society will be replaced by a campground for transients, thieves and homeless people.

Now that’s what I call progress, in tune with the present and past “successes” of Maple Ridge councils (e.g. marijuana farms and pot retail outlets, the Northumberland Court rubble lot, no significant shopping centre, gravel pits, prison facilities, poor transit, no schools in or adequate access to Rock Ridge and Silver Valley, closing businesses,  etc.)

Most readers are familiar with the “improvements” brought to the lives of taxpayers on Carshill Street and Cliff Avenue with the collaboration of Maple Ridge council, the Salvation Army’s Caring Place and Fraser Health’s drug rehabilitation facility.

If the constant rumblings of discontent to council raised by homeowners on Cliff Avenue and Carshill Street are bothersome, I wonder how council will enjoy the ruckus that is likely to be raised by the hundreds of property owners surrounding this latest effort to keep our police occupied herding the local itinerant population.

Those bleeding hearts out there who believe I’m being unnecessarily down on the less-fortunate of our populace should offer their front and back yards for itinerant camping by posting their addresses at The Caring Place.

This little urban forest is bounded by Lougheed Highway, Royal Crescent, Brickwood Close, 225th and 227th streets and by 116th Avenue.

It is about three quarters surrounded by homes, seniors’ condominiums and townhomes. Google Maps shows it as green space. The part being “improved” is the northern half. The public may access it near the intersection of Lougheed Highway and 227th Street. All other access is by trespassing through private property. Thankfully, the southern half of the forest is private property and not subject to “improvement.”

I request the District of Maple Ridge reconsider making a public nuisance by destroying this forest. It’s not a good idea. You’re creating a monster.

It won’t be your monster to deal with, Mr. Mayor: it’ll be the hundreds of people living around the forest who have to deal with it.

Paul English

Maple Ridge

Note: Chances Maple Ridge hosted an info session Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

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