Amidst Vancouver’s Paving Spree, a Corner ‘Rewilds’


By Margaret Munro,

The Scouts are working up a sweat digging holes for young cedars and vine maples, while the Starbucks baristas are on their knees planting ferns.

The “rewilding” of Everett Crowley Park, in the southeast corner of Vancouver, aims to make more space for wild things in the city’s increasingly concrete landscape. Or, as the [Vancouver] park board recently said, the project is part of its “vision for an urban environment in harmony with nature.”

It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely place.

Everett Crowley Park, which the board now describes as a “biodiversity hotspot,” is home to one of the most abused chunks of real estate in Vancouver – the old city dump. Continue reading . . . 


Clearcut city? Rise of Condos Means Razed Trees, Bird Evictions

DSCN7326 (1).jpgVancouver has lost hundreds of hectares of canopy in just two decades.

By Margaret Munro,

The logging crew made short work of the forest, tearing down the trees, yanking out the roots and feeding the branches — just coming into bud — into a shredder.

The forest, clearcut this spring to make way for the massive River District development in southeast Vancouver, was a wild tangle of cottonwoods and shrubs that made ideal habitat for woodpeckers, chickadees and hummingbirds.

The birds scattered as the trees fell. And migrating songbirds, such as the yellow warblers featured in the River District’s promotional materials, now arriving in “bird friendly” Vancouver will have to look elsewhere for food and nesting sites. Continue reading  . . .