South Surrey’s Redwood Park is a forested enclave of calm

May 1, 2018

southsurrey

Redwood Park contains a replica of a tree house where the founders of the park once lived.

Tiny Redwood Park in Surrey rates high on the list of undiscovered gems in our best-selling 52 Best Day Trips from Vancouver. Here’s why, including an update on its innovative and universally-accessible  children’s playground.

ACCESS: Redwood Park lies 35 kilometres south of Vancouver. Follow Highway 99 south to the King George Highway (Exit 10) in Surrey. Go south on King George to 16th Avenue, east to 176th Street, then north to 20th Avenue and east one block to the park’s main entrance. Alternatively, enter at the trailhead and small parking area on the north side of 16th Avenue just east of 177th Street.

To reserve the tree house, contact the Surrey parks and recreation office, 604-501-5050604-501-5050.

 

A palpable peace hangs in the air.

With spring now in full swing, it’s time to reflect on the natural bounty that surrounds Metro Vancouver.

One such place to experience these offerings lies in South Surrey.

Even long-time residents  are still amazed to discover hidden corners of this semirural landscape.

Visitors will heartily agree with a quotation from Robert Louis Stevenson on one of the park’s interpretive markers.

“It’s not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim on men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from old trees that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit,” declared the Scottish novelist and travel writer.

A century ago, twin brothers David and Peter Brown were given adjacent acreages by their father on the logged hillside above Hazelmere Valley, where they dwelled until 1958.

Over the years, the twins set about reforesting the slopes with 32 species of trees native to North America, Europe, and Asia.

Among the most successful was the giant sequoia, or coast redwood, from which the park takes its name.

Other evergreens, such as incense and blue Atlas cedars, also thrived and attained sizable proportions.

Spreading chestnuts, maples, and elms border the fields cultivated by Hazelmere Organics.

One of Redwood Park’s unique attractions is a play space custom-designed for children with mobility challenges.

Surrey parks department operations manager Tim Neufeld told us that the focus on Redwood Park has been to meet universal access standards.

“We’ve improved the trails with better grades and made accessible picnic shelters; we’re slowly evolving the park into a destination for those with special needs,” he said.

The Browns probably would have approved of the inventive playground as much as the replica of a tree house where they once lived and which Surrey rebuilt in the 1980s for use by school groups, Boy Scouts, and Girl Guides.

The bachelor brothers were driven to build a cabin in the boughs of a Douglas fir after fire destroyed two previous dwellings.

Neufeld said the cabin could see better utilization, and plans are underway to use it to stage interpretive programs highlighting the park’s heritage and arboretum.
Original Article
Text CR Louise Christie
Photo CR Louise Christie