Deb Jack, president of Surrey Environmental Partners, raises a good point, especially at a time when high-rise towers are popping up like dandelions in the city’s downtown.
It seems time is not on our side in Surrey.
While it looks good on paper that land developers are required to compensate the city for trees they tear down, it can take up to 30 years for replacement trees to reach the same level of maturity as those that are being torn out today. Trees that are busy cleaning the air that we breathe. As Jack notes, we can never make up for the loss of that service.
Therefore it is imperative that trees be increasingly incorporated into land development programs rather than be clear-cut. The fresh air they provide for us is indispensable.
Requiring developers to grow trees and shrubs on flat roofs, like you will see in Vancouver, is an idea whose time has definitely come.
Any city that has the sand to call itself the City of Parks, as Surrey has been doing since September 1993, must necessarily live up to the billing.
Most people, when they think of parks, think of trees, not rock gardens, and certainly not a concrete jungle.
It’s admirable that Surrey has many fine parks, and has recently taken steps to toughen up its tree protection bylaw by doubling the fines for offences related to the cutting down of “significant” trees.
But this is not the time for the City of Parks to rest on its laurels.
More needs to be done to protect our trees.
Mayor Doug McCallum indicated at the city’s last council meeting that Surrey’s environment will receive more attention this year. We hope there are good things to come.