We are planning a long-term ecological enhancement project in an area of New Westminster known as the Glenbrook Ravine. Historically, “Glenbrook Ravine Park was the first public park in the Colony of British Columbia. When the city was established in 1859, Colonel Moody wrote a letter to the Governor of the Colony of B.C: “The woods are magnificent, superb beyond description but most vexatious to a surveyor and the first dwellers in a town. I declare without the least sentimentality, I grieve and mourn the ruthless destruction of these most glorious trees. What a grand old Park this whole hill would make! I am reserving a very beautiful glen and adjoining ravine for the People and Park. I have already named it ‘Queen’s Ravine’ and trust you will approve. It divides the town well from the military Reserve…” (source: City of New Westminster)
We seek to restore some of the parts of this area that have fallen victim to invasive species over the years. We are hoping to reclaim the ravine over a few years, to create an area for locals to come and enjoy a connection to BC’s oldest public park. In addition to removing invasive species, we aim to construct some wildlife habitat features (bird and bat houses specifically), to plant some new trees where invasives have been removed, and to possibly incorporate some signage (partnering with local artists) that will provide some information to people using the park. We have experience with community enhancement initiatives, with my co-organizer and I organizing the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in Queensborough in each of the last two years. We have had numerous meetings so far with the City of New Westminster regarding this project, and have their support. We will be in touch with Evergreen to assist us with tool supply.
We will connect local resident who may not otherwise have had a reason to get to know one another. Local guides/brownies/cubs/beavers will be involved and will learn about invasive plant species, native bird and bat species, and how to enhance habitat for our local wildlife. This area is a gem in New West and is a great area to go for a walk and just enjoy the peace and serenity of it. If we can enhance the (limited) green space we have in the community, we can hopefully get people to appreciate what we have more and more people will get out to enjoy this space. Local birds and bats will also benefit, as will native vegetation once we have begun removing the invasive plants. The results we are hoping for are to slowly restore the Glenbrook Ravine to what it once was, many, many years ago. This will not be achieved in one year, but we hope to make some good progress in year one, with the goal of continuing on annually until we have nothing left to enhance (at which time maintenance will become the priority).
This project will require tools (shovels, pruners, clippers, rakes, drill, saw and hammer for bird/bat houses), materials (lumber for wildlife houses, native plants to replace invasives), and suppies (garbage bags, snacks, water cooler with compostable cups). We have estimated this to be $500 on the low end to up to $2500, depending on how many tools we get, how many bird/bat houses we build, how many native plants we plant, and how many weekends we do this over the summer. The ONE prize money will first be allocated to basic tools. We are hoping to get some lumber donated to local beavers/cubs/brownies/guides to cut down on this cost. More money will allow for more gloves, snacks, refreshments, tools for all of our volunteers. We are hoping to get some tools donated by Evergreen. We will also be asking people to bring their own tools, if possible.