The Riverview Lands

On Sunday I’m going to make a presentation at TreeFest, held on the Riverview Lands beside the Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, BC.

The Lands have surrounded the hospital for one hundred years now, established by John Davidson, B.C.’s first provincial botanist, and nurtured over the years by a succession of knowledgeable and caring gardeners and, for many years, by patients working with them.

The most noticeable aspect of the Lands is the magnificent trees. These are huge mature specimens, many of varieties rare in Western Canada. Arborists from around the world have visited them and been awed by them.

Naturally, a couple of hundred acres of land in a prime position in the Lower Mainland has drawn the attention of politicians and developers.  Housing Mnister Rich Coleman has plans to sell the land to developers. The wonderful trees, of course are just a bunch of firewood to him; he can’t wait to get them out of the way. But before we lay all the blame on him let’s remember that other governments and other ministers have laid greedy eyes on the Lands, and will probably do so again.

The only thing stopping them is the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society. Founded about sixteen years ago this group are dedicated to preserving the Riverview Lands. Toiling doggedly over  the years they have held regular ‘tree walks’ to demonstrate the value of the trees to anyone who will listen. And once a year, together with other groups, they hold TreeFest on the site to promote the beauty of the trees and attract more and more people to understand and value this resource.

There will be music, concession stands, displays, tree walks, building tours, and yours truly, who can’t resist talking about the history of this place. If you read this before September 21st 2008, please join us. If not, visit their website

Join the fight to save the Riverview trees.


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