Massive property gifted to Surrey to preserve

The late Tom Godwin bequeathed to the city 10.6 hectares of his property in Tynehead to be preserved in perpetuity.

The late Dr. Tom Godwin left his large pastoral Tynehead property to the city to preserve in perpetuity.

The late Dr. Tom Godwin left his large pastoral Tynehead property to the city to preserve in perpetuity.

Ponderosa pines, Douglas fir and spruce line the long, winding driveway leading to the rustic home, eventually exposing a vast expanse of land, with towering giant red cedars, a stream teeming with salmon and a man-made lake stocked with trout.

This is the home of the late Tom Godwin, who said some years ago he was running out of room to plant trees on the property, a forested area with 10,000 trees he’d planted from his on-site nursery.

They include walnut, sugar maples, oak, Chinese chestnut, weeping cypress and countless other species.

This unspeakably beautiful property has been bequeathed to the City of Surrey as a biodiversity preserve, to be protected in perpetuity.

The city was expected to introduce the Godwin Farm Biodiversity Dedication Bylaw on Monday night, setting in motion the 10.6-hectare (26.19-acre) property into a nature preserve.

“The city, as a qualified recipient under the program, must ensure that the biodiversity and natural heritage values of the donated lands are conserved in perpetuity,” a corporate report to council Monday states.

The preservation of this property was a dream of Godwin’s long before he died.

When he moved there, he had the property rezoned agricultural to help preserve it.

He hinted in a 2004 interview that he would be putting further restrictions on it to protect the land.

The property at 9016 164 Street was given to the city last year, but the protection bylaw was just recommended on Monday.

“The donation represents a significant gift of property and is a notable example of owners of ecologically sensitive lands donating lands for lasting preservation,” the report to council says.

Godwin was one of Surrey’s most fervent environmental boosters, particularly when it came to tree preservation.

He quit as a member of the Environmental Advisory Commission in 2004, when the city was cutting down trees at a rate of 10,000 a year.

In his letter of resignation, he said the city was growing too fast, and the environment was paying for it deeply.

“We have all watched the vast areas of clear cutting of large old trees going on in our community, the rows on rows of box housing, inadequate storm water management and the total lack of any environmental input,” Godwin writes in the Oct. 16, 2014 letter to committee chair Dr. Roy Strang. “… what I have seen go on in Surrey just makes me want to cry. Having an advisory committee, even though impotent, somehow gives this mad rush of development legitimacy and I can’t be part of that.”

In 2013, Godwin died at the age of 75.

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
National Police Federation members slam Surrey police transition to Surrey Board of Trade

During virtual meeting, bargaining unit representatives say municipal force ‘not a done deal’

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Pixabay image
Surrey council moves to update city’s telecommunication antennas policy

But councillor says health and safety protocols are nearly 40 years old

Eagle watchers are celebrating the first egg of the season, captured on video in South Surrey. (Hancock Wildlife Foundation photo)
LIVE VIDEO: South Surrey nesting eagles welcome first egg of the season

Parents ‘Sur’ and ‘Res’ to share incubating duties

Boosh Food founder Connie Marples (right) delivers some Boosh Food items to Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services, in December, 2020. Boosh Food has just moved their operations to Cloverdale. (Photo: Moonraker PR)
Boosh Food moves to Cloverdale

‘Plant-based comfort food’ company moving to 65A Avenue

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

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

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read