Friday, March 23, 2012

Glen Park

The locals are all disturbed that the "City of Coquitlam, Logging Company" has cut down a fair amount of the forest at Glen Park.
Glen Park trees coming down to improve safety — city
Just as this forest was starting to release itself,(open up naturally) the city cuts part of the nice little, and now locally rare forest at Glen Park. This forest was a nice place to go when it was very hot outside, and it contained a little garden of plants that are more common in the higher elevations, I always have attributed this garden to the Glen School, maybe some teacher made it a project in the distant past. Now Gone.
Few people would know that just over a hundred years ago now, the City of Port Coquitlam, received this property from the Government, for use as a cemetery; when they finalized their plans to separate from Coquitlam in 1913. A very well chosen site for a cemetery it was, because the ground is very well-drained, and dry.  This property was not mentioned as part of the transfer of properties that occurred at that time, but a few years later it was noticed. But there is no mention of it in the City council minutes; but at some time it must have been transferred. This property also went south across Lincoln Ave., the past site of the Fire Hall, but now it has been sold, and a proposal for a 33 storey tower is being proposed on this portion. Port Coquitlam is opposed; read the article in The Now: Highrise not OK, PoCo says.
 The Mayor of Coquitlam  "Dickie Stewart" mentions a Lincoln Station in this article, but according to the official website of the Evergreen Line, this pipe-dream is not on. It makes no sense at all to have another station so close to the others.
  Coquitlam has a long history of selling park land, a quick look at a map of the North road, Maillardville area, will show a lack of parks, that is because past councils sold them off.
The locals think that this is all part of a larger plan for the School Board to develop the old Glen School site into some grandiose scheme. Highrises are becoming almost cancerous around here the past few years.

And a letter from the Now Newspaper, by Jane Thomsing:  This isn't a park improvement

At least I am glad to have known and enjoyed this park for many years, and have the pictures to prove it.
Have a look at the Glen Park Master Plan (PDF)
This story has got some legs; from what the city is saying now, as usual a few vocal residents got their way in the planning process with this park. Although from what I have seen through the years, it does not matter what is said at the "public hearings" the city departments minds are already made up, and the "public hearing" is just a formality.
This The Now article elaborates on the story some more; Tree removal in master plan: city
I never felt unsafe there, very few issues with this park; although a few of the dog walkers should have been respecting the playing fields better. The forest was quite open on the ground, no place for anybody to hide or do their nefarious activities.  One thing that I have noticed through the years, is that part of the problem is that planners frequently appear to have never been to a site, and are just working from this blank map, on a screen in front of them, and use it to create their "vision" of a park, with no thought about how much disruption will occur to the existing site and its inhabitants.  The Disneyfication of Coquitlam's parks continues....
The saga continues; this park destruction has created a flurry of letters to the editors of the local papers.
Glad to know that others love this park, just the way it was.
Dog park and Glen Park too close to elementary school
Disgraceful destruction at park

More of the ongoing saga;  'Get a grip,' councillor tells critics over Glen tree loss
   I can think of one person who has lost some votes next "silly season"
Numerous replies to the "get a grip" quote;
April 18 - 2012, The Now: Councillors differ on Glen Park trees
Nice opinion piece by Mike McPhee of Douglas College; Glen Park forest was an oasis in Coquitlam
[[[       Here is some of the reports that Michael McPhee mentions in his opinion article:

City of Coquitlam; Request for Proposals, RFP No. 12-02-10, Tree and Stump removal, Diamond Head Consulting Ltd., Report. July 31, 2011.
  Ecosystem Overview Assessment of Glen Park, Diamond Head Consulting Ltd., November 11, 2009
             David Suzuki Foundation, Lower Mainland Natural Capital
The rest of the reports appear to be not online :(   ]]]

And the City parks manager doing some damage control, (reads like a press release):
   City responds to park criticism

March 1, 2011
Glen Park options don't include organized sport

NEW! September, 2012: Related story across the street on property formerly City owned, and was given to the City as a cemetery, park, many years ago.  National Tree Day not a good one for trees in Coquitlam

Coquitlam River endangered? or not endangered

Our new councilor, obviously has an IQ in the single digits.
Coquitlam River is not endangered: city councillor.

This river has been in trouble since the first dam went up in 1896.
I always find it interesting how a group that apparently is about the gravel operations and their impacts on the community, is always blaming the urbanization and natural events, something that should not be part of their mandate. It is obvious that urbanization is creating even more problems for the river, but the gravel operators are also making money by encouraging it. Natural events are not that common, and usually clean themselves up fairly quickly. The gravel operations on the other hand, have made great strides in attempting to control their effluent streams, but it is very difficult and very expensive to totally remove the colloidial, glacial silts, that the gravels contain in this area, these are, and always will be a problem. And when it rains, their ponds are all to frequently over-topped,, even the occasional pond failure has happened.   Still waiting for the day when an operator cuts into one of the many buried water bodies that thankfully are infrequent here, but are there, and a major slide event happens as the past history of gravel operations shows