Amanda Fraser and sons Barret

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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP Constable Mike Della-Paolera as seen in a cut-out used for the detachment’s Operation Double Take program. (File photo)
Surrey’s tall ‘Operation Double Take’ cop is on the move

Cut-out of Constable Mike Della-Paolera used in program to curb speeding and dangerous driving

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

A little brown bat, which has become endangered due to white-nose syndrome. (Greg Michalowski photo)
Bat sightings on Semiahmoo Peninsula spark worries of white-nose syndrome

Fungal disease is deadly for local bat populations: BC Community Bat Program

The old Rickshaw sign today, with the former restaurant location in the building behind it. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
SURREY NOW & THEN: Rickshaw sign stands as a reminder of Jung family’s restaurant days

A weekly look back at Surrey-area landmark sites and events

Mike LeSage. (submitted photo)
LeSage to head Community Policing Bureau of new Surrey police force

Second of three Deputy Chief Constables to be hired by fledgling force

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Scott Ackles

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

Most Read