LETTERS: Public opinion will be heard

Editor:

Re: Ecological area eyed for development, Sept. 16.

Editor:

Re: Ecological area eyed for development, Sept. 16.

I was disappointed but not surprised to hear that the City of Surrey is considering yet another “business park” for Campbell Heights, this time encroaching into an area with even more ecological value than previous projects.

If the Surrey First slate has demonstrated consistency on any subject, choosing development over the environment might top the list.

I speak with some experience, having served on the city’s largely ineffective Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee for eight years – and yes, I take some responsibility for that poor record.

In the interests of full disclosure, I live immediately adjacent to the area under study. Clearly, further development would significantly increase the value of properties in the area, including ours.

Sorry neighbours, but I believe it is time for people to consider the long-term implications for all citizens over short-term financial gain.

We continue to see multiple wildlife species sharing our property with us – beaver, muskrat, coyotes, blue herons, great horned owls, hawks, ducks, kingfishers and many different songbirds, to name only the most obvious. On two occasions, pregnant does have produced and raised fawns safely in our back pasture.

Two studies quoted recently by the David Suzuki Foundation noted the numerous beneficial impacts of maintaining biodiversity in the urban environment on human welfare.

One study by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that people living in areas with abundant green space live longer and experience lower incidence of several diseases, compared to people more deprived of exposure to nature.

Sounds like a desirable outcome to me.

Surrey Environmental Partners (SEP) has made presentations to council on the need for more large parks, and Campbell Heights was specifically singled out by them.

As we in South Surrey watch stands of trees give way to more and more rows of townhouses with minimal green space, the need for what the PAN article refers to as “living legacy parks” becomes more critical for our future health and wellbeing.

Those who believe that rational decisions will be made in this case, or that “someone else” will be there to hold council’s feet to the fire, should consider what has transpired in recent years.

We need to become more vocal. If you are concerned about your future health and that of your children, get involved.

Write to council to let them know how you feel – public opinion is one thing that all politicians understand.

Bill Stewart, Surrey

 

 

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