Amanda Fraser and sons Barret

‘Fairy house’ blitz may lead to revamp

Families upset after Redwood Park offerings found in pieces

Dozens of tiny houses that some say create a “magical” experience for many visitors to Redwood Park – particularly young visitors – were found in pieces over the weekend.

“I’m so sad about this,” Amanda Fraser said Wednesday, as she wandered the miniature neighbourhood during a visit to the South Surrey forest with her sons, Brooks and Barret.

Four houses that the family had contributed a month ago are among those no longer there.

The ‘fairy house’ phenomena began at the park more than a dozen years ago, after a devoted park visitor placed ‘fairy doors’ at the base of a couple of trees.

Before the damage this past weekend, it’s estimated the volume of colourful houses – placed on logs, hung on branches, or hammered or screwed into tree trunks or stumps – had grown to number in the hundreds.

Now, just a few dozen remain.

DamageBut while the damage was upsetting to parks users who make the forest a routine destination – a number of whom turned out Wednesday to help clean up – City of Surrey parks officials say it may be the catalyst for establishing guidelines on the practice of adding the fairy houses to the forest, located at 17900 20 Ave.

Urban forestry and environmental manager Neal Aven acknowledged the popularity of the “whimsical” neighbourhood in the approximately one hectare of park space, but said a solution to mitigate the unintended damage it does to the forest is needed.

Hammering and screws into live trees are detrimental to the trees’ health, and much of the area’s understory is being trampled as well-meaning visitors add to the enchanted village, he said.

“What we want to do is find a balance,” he said, naming encouraging the use of natural materials and discouraging the unintended damage as among goals that may be addressed through a community process. “We’re trying to manage the natural area.”

Fraser, a south Langley resident, and other park visitors said they’re determined to rebuild.

Veronica Sharma described news that the damage was likely intentional as “crushing.”

“I was shocked,” the Cloverdale resident said, as she picked up pieces of the houses from the forest floor. “Whoever did this, these are children’s dreams.”

Karen Klassen-Johnson came out with her children, Sierra, Chase and Kylan, to help out.

She agreed education to ensure the houses don’t have a detrimental effect is important.

Sierra, 12, said she couldn’t understand why anyone would do the damage done.

“What’s the point?” she said. “It’s harming everybody that comes here.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: White Rock Renegades play at Softball City

The ‘04 and ‘03 White Rock Renegades both played in South Surrey Sunday

White Rock’s Lady Alexandra hearing date postponed

Lawyers are scheduled to sit before a judge this week

White Rock pride flag raising ceremony to be held Friday

Pride Society to host sold-out event the following day

Semiahmoo Rock alum to represent Canada at World Junior Lacrosse Championship

Jacob Dunbar plays for Port Coquitlam Saints of BCJALL

Two from Delta killed in two-vehicle crash near Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read

l -->