Brownsville Bar Park. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

10 THINGS TO DO IN SURREY: Watch glass melt, stroll a river’s beach, meet ‘Mr. Fleetwood’

A weekly list of stuff to explore in the city

Fridays this summer, we’ll publish a list of 10 Things to Do in Surrey — a chance to explore new places and events in the area. Email us your favourite things to do in Surrey, edit@surreynowleader.com.

1. LEARN ABOUT REFORESTATION

Explore B.C.’s birthplace of reforestation at Green Timbers Urban Forest, one of Surrey’s largest parks. It’s home to more than 10 kilometres of nature trails, a stocked fishing lake, picnic areas and Surrey Nature Centre. The land was completely logged by 1929, but the trees were soon replanted. After a long run as a forestry school and nursery, the land became a park in 1974. Enter at Green Timbers Access Rd., in the 14500-block of 100th Ave., Surrey. A detailed history of the land is on greentimbers.ca, the online home of Green Timbers Heritage Society.

• RELATED STORY/VIDEO: Green Timbers’ inaugural plantation began ‘cultural shift’ in B.C.

2. PLAY ‘500 UP’

Baseball fields dot all areas of Surrey, so pick a diamond and pack a glove, bat and ball. Newton’s Unwin Park is home to several ball diamonds and also a couple of open fields, making it a popular place for baseball. In South Surrey, Softball City is a big draw for leagues and large-scale tournaments.

3. SAY HI TO ‘THE SEA CAPTAIN’

At Surrey Central SkyTrain Station, “The Sea Captain” is a large wooden sculpture created by Marianne Nicolson and John Livingston. It’s inspired by a pipe from the early 19th century, carved by an unnamed master from Haida Gwaii. Hung from the ceiling, the sculpture “considers the history of travel and immigration to the coast.” It’s featured on City Centre Artwalk, a chance to discover public art along parks, pathways, SkyTrain pillars and civic buildings on University Drive in Surrey’s City Centre. This route is flat and wheelchair accessible with three SkyTrain stations along the way.

4. GO CAMPING

Located on “the morning side of Vancouver,” Tynehead RV Camp is billed as “Surrey’s best kept camping secret,” off Highway 1. There’s space for tenting ($40 a night from May 15 to Sept. 30), and it’s “close to everything (but not too close),” according to a post on tynehead.com. “We’ve been family owned and operated for over 30 years. We pride ourselves on maintaining a safe, quiet environment for families, couples, snowbirds, or anyone else looking to stay a little off the beaten path.”

5. WATCH GLASS MELT

Award-winning glass blower Robert Gary Parkes welcomes appointments to watch him work at his Loafing Shed studio. In 2009, the artist converted a portion of his Port Kells-area barn into a glass studio and installed state-of-the-art equipment. Parkes and his wife Jeanette have since hosted a number of events there, when they can, including tours and workshops. It’s hot stuff. For details visit loafingshedglass.ca. In 2017, Parkes was given a Surrey Civic Treasure Award for his art.

• RELATED STORY/VIDEO, from 2018: The art of glassblowing in Surrey.

6. STROLL A RIVER’S SANDY BEACH

Explore Brownsville Bar Park, which boasts one of the only sandy beaches on the Fraser River. Have a picnic on the green space next to the beach, with views of New Westminster and the Fraser River. On the beach, kids can make sandcastles, collect rocks or even play a game of soccer as trains roll by, SkyTrain cars zip overhead, and cars motor over the old Pattullo Bridge, to be replaced soon. Bottlecaps are pounded into the end of a log, creating a beer-y art with products probably purchased from the nearby RV park pub. There’s a walking loop to explore, too. The park is closed from dusk to dawn, including the parking lot, at 11931 Old Yale Rd, Surrey.

7. SEE SURREY HISTORY

At the Museum of Surrey, summer exhibits this year include “Trailblazing Women in Canada since 1867” and a Community Treasures gallery look back at Fraser Valley Heritage Rail history. Visit surrey.ca/arts-culture/museum-of-surrey for more details, or call 604-592-6956. At 17710 56A Ave., in Cloverdale.

8. ‘POP’ IN FOR MUSIC AND MORE

Surrey’s “Summer POP!” series of concerts, theatre shows, kid-friendly gatherings, and more, runs until Sept. 12 — public health orders permitting. These “Performances Outdoors in Parks” will be staged at Glades Garden, Bear Creek Park and Darts Hill Gardens. The list of shows is found on surrey.ca/theatre.

• READ MORE: 15 in-person events featured in Surrey’s ‘Summer POP!’ series

9. WATCH THE LIONS

On a fence-surrounded field at Whalley’s Tom Binnie Park, members of the B.C. Lions can be seen practicing during the CFL football season, in summer and early fall. Lucky fans might get an autograph. Visit bclions.com for details. At BC Place, the team’s home-opener of the delayed season is Thursday, Aug. 19 against Edmonton Elks.

10. MEET MR. FLEETWOOD

In the Surrey neighbourhood that bears his name, Lance Corporal Arthur Thomas Fleetwood is memorialized as a life-sized bronze sculpture “seated” on a bench on the community centre plaza, 84th Avenue and 160th Street. Artist Nathan Scott’s work honours the First World War soldier, who served in France and died there of battle wounds in 1917. The sculpture was donated by Fleetwood Community Association.

More things to do in Surrey: CLICK HERE to read the entire “101 Things to Do in Surrey” feature from our June 24 print edition.


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