EDITORIAL: Positively fleeting

Though the end may be near for a South Surrey community garden, it's positive impact will remain.

Not all good things must come to an end.

But when they do, does that mean they didn’t have an impact?

It would seem that an ending is a real possibility for a garden that has increasingly brightened a busy South Surrey street over the past nine years. Rooted – quite literally – in the dedicated efforts of Adrian Bilodeau, who spent most of his life on the Semiahmoo Peninsula before moving further north in Surrey in September, the garden lines a public parcel of land that stretches along a portion of 156 Street between King George Boulevard and 24 Avenue. Over the years, it has spread into the lot itself, complementing existing trees and blossoming into a parklike space, complete with benches and a wishing well.

Bilodeau estimates he has spent 8,000 hours planting, weeding, seeding and decorating the garden over the years – time that might initially feel like a waste, should the City of Surrey follow through on its expressed intention to sell the lot early next year. Interestingly, the news arrived less than a year after the city essentially acknowledged its worth by granting Bilodeau beautification funds.

Regardless of what the future holds, the reality is good deeds are worth doing – whether they come and go, as with the time it takes to hold a door for a stranger, or they endure for a nearly a decade, as this garden has done.

Bilodeau – who started the garden as a tribute to his father – has many memories of those who have given an appreciative honk and wave as they drive past as he tends the space, and of those who have stopped to chat with him about the garden; of it becoming a place to reflect on loved ones, or somewhere to simply pause from the hustle and bustle of the day to enjoy the flowers and sundry wildlife.

No decision by the city to sell can erase those memories or the good feelings they created.

The world – and in this particular case, the Semiahmoo Peninsula – is a better place for such deeds, regardless of how large or small, how fleeting or enduring. The ripples are farther-reaching than can ever be fully known.

Understandingly, Bilodeau remains hopeful the garden that he started in 2008 will endure. He began appealing to the powers that be last week, and hopes the public will add their voice.

But even if this good thing does come to an end, its impact will not be lost. Those roots, at least, remain firmly planted.

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