Ray and Marj LeBlond are frustrated by the City of Surrey’s care of a tiny park in the middle of a cul-de-sac.

Ray and Marj LeBlond are frustrated by the City of Surrey’s care of a tiny park in the middle of a cul-de-sac.

City must give value for our green

An open letter to the co-ordinator of the City of Surrey’s Partners in Parks program.

We have received your request in the mail concerning the survey for the replacement and management of the 22 Avenue cul-de-sac trees and scrubs.

An open letter to the co-ordinator of the City of Surrey’s Partners in Parks program.

We have received your request in the mail concerning the survey for the replacement and management of the 22 Avenue cul-de-sac trees and scrubs.

Only yesterday I walked around the cul-de-sac and felt the parks staff had, perhaps, forgotten about our little park. It is more than 20 years old, with mature trees and scrubs. There are tall grasses and a great variety of weeds and volunteer daisies standing tall in the centre.

Your survey asks us if we would like to keep the existing scrubs and volunteer our time to maintain this little green space, or remove and replace these plants with grass and the city would mow this area. What’s next, when you don’t have the budget to mow the grass after you have removed the trees? Are you going to pour cement over the space and paint it green, with a gold hand-push lawn-mower statue?

Well, here are my thoughts.

We were one of the first owners on 22 Avenue and built our home. We are now 86 and 87 years old and have gardeners to manage our land. We take great pride in our home and work hard to stay in it and maintain it, as many other homeowners do in our South Surrey area.

Often over the past 20 years, many of our neighbours have taken to cleaning up this little park out of desperation to preserve our own gardens from the spread of these volunteer grasses and weeds.

When the community of South Surrey was being expanded and developed in the ’80s and ’90s, the City of Surrey demanded developers include ‘green space’ in their planning. Now, the city is planning on demolishing mature trees and scrubs if we don’t step up to the plate.

My wife and I have paid our annual land taxes and now pay for our water by meter. Now, I see that you are being paid in the Partners in Parks program for telling us to volunteer our time to keep our ‘green space.’

Well, I say the city needs to cut your salary along with other bureaucratic salaries and put it into a student program that will maintain our land and give our youth employment and community involvement.

I believe in the purpose of our ‘green space’ to promote our oxygen and cleaner air; this is one of the reasons we moved here from Vancouver over 20 years ago. The facts are: one tree produces enough oxygen for 10 people to breathe in one year. With this fact being clear, do you really want to cut these beautiful mature trees?

I invoke you to have better community senses and manage your budget better, cut the bureaucratic salaries and give us the value in our tax dollars, and stop serving yourselves and making excuses for your bad budgeting.

Ray and Marj LeBlond, Surrey