Disappointed with ‘urban forest’ decision

Langley Township council voted to reject the compromise that would allow the preservation of the three acre Creekside Forest

Editor:

Although it was not a surprise that Langley Township council voted to reject the compromise that would allow the preservation of the three acre Creekside Forest on March 2, it was very disappointing. The vision of a forest that would be available for generations in this Aldergrove neighburhood, including new neighbours who move into the non-forested adjacent property was very appealing to me, as promoted by Jessica Horst and other local residents.

At the same time, I was gratified to learn that at the same meeting council voted to prevent 50 acres of adjoining land from being subsumed into suburban Aldergrove (via an application to get it removed from the ALR). The 50 acres of adjoining land includes some forested land adjacent to the Creekside Forest, now destined to become a cul-de-sac.

In an ideal world, both would be protected and become a green oasis for school children and others to enjoy via a well-planned trail system. Jessica Horst is a Fraser Valley elementary school teacher who grew up in Aldergrove, and has a vision for teaching the next generation how to see the forest, not just the trees.

The reason given why Creekside is not being protected: no trees worth preserving, except maybe one large cedar. Just because the trees are “replaceable” does not mean the forest is replaceable. A forest is much more than its trees — it includes the undergrowth and the wildlife as well.

The 20 houses planned for the three acre cul-de-sac will presumably have manicured yards, and the many species of plants and animals that only occupy the second growth forest at Creekside will be lost. We don?t yet know what these species that will be lost are. It could take years of research to understand this “second growth forest” but in the end it might well not be “second rate.”

The second growth Blaauw Eco Forest in Glen Valley being researched by Trinity Western University is unveiling new secrets regularly. My wish is that this forest at the edge of Aldergrove would have the same chance to reveal its secrets. I realize that there are certain monetary realities facing council now, but I implore council to think of the next generation.

David Clements, Langley

Aldergrove Star

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