White Rock's Craig Thomas photographs South Surrey's Fergus Watershed.

White Rock's Craig Thomas photographs South Surrey's Fergus Watershed.

Showcasing potential through his lens

Fergus Watershed’s beauty and versatility is captured by White Rock photographer Craig Thomas

Sarah Massah

Staff Reporter

It came as no surprise to White Rock resident Craig Thomas that there are big plans for Fergus Watershed Park.

After discovering the South Surrey green space near 168 Street and 14 Avenue while walking with his wife Carolyn, the self-taught photographer and artist noted it was teeming with potential.

“It was the first time (I had been), and it looks like such a wonderful area with potential for multi-uses,” he said. “With all that pasture, I was thinking what a great place to have a multi-use area, like a bicycle track, picnic grounds and this wooded boundary, a place to walk the dog.”

Earlier this month, the City of Surrey hosted an open house for the park, asking for the public to submit their ideas to help form a concept plan for 67-acre space.

The park, acquired by the city in 2009 in order to protect habitat in the eco-sensitive area, will undergo a revitalization as per a master plan being worked on by city staffers, which will recommend potential recreational uses and improvement to existing ecological resources in the park.

The first public session in the master planning process kicked off in June with “the visioning stage,” followed by a review of three different plan options at the Oct. 23 session.

Some suggestions for the park included creating habitats, removing invasive species and reforestation to naturalize the tributary to better support fish.

For Thomas, 57, who was unable to attend the open houses, the revitalization process is a big step in the right direction.

Using the camera gifted to him from his father three years ago, the former wood carver – who had to give up the profession following an accident on the job – hoped to share his photos in order to highlight the beauty right in the community’s backyard.

“A lot of places are so groomed, I like this because there were areas you could just leave and there are no real paths, per se, through here. But it’s game trails and these beautiful hidden clearings,” he explained. “If I can communicate what’s out there, then it might help others have more appreciation.”

The City of Surrey’s Parks Planning department is still taking suggestions for the project. To review the concept plan, visit www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/13496.aspx

To add your voice to the project, email parksrecculture@surrey.ca or call 604-501-5050.