125-year-old Douglas Fir was cut down in Aldergrove. (Carleigh Johnston/Special to the Star)

125-year-old Douglas Fir was cut down in Aldergrove. (Carleigh Johnston/Special to the Star)

Aldergrove resident calls for protection of Sawmill Trail ecosystem

Starting May 6, residents can complete a survey on why trees and woodlands are important to them

Liz Pahlke, a concerned Aldergrove resident, remains unsettled by the removal of a longstanding tree near Parkside Centennial and is asking that more be done to protect the nature of the surrounding area.

She called the clear-cut behind Parkside School is a wasteland, silent and devoid of life.

A 125-year-old Douglas fir tree was cut down on Feb. 5, prompting a strong reaction from residents who felt it should have been protected.

“Our community lost an ecosystem with the razing of this land. It pains me to think of the demise of all the flora and fauna that had homes in this little urban forest,” Pahlke said. “The manicured, sterile lawns, the few selected tree species, and ubiquitous concrete will not foster the diverse species that resided in what was.”

But Pahlke said another ecosystem nearby is now under threat.

Sawmill Trail borders wetlands at 268th Street, home to many species, including ducks, geese, hawks, and amphibians, to name a few.

“The wetlands next to Sawmill Trail drain into the ALR lands abutting 268th Street and subsequently into Bertrand Creek,” Pahlke explained. “It is a natural area that requires preservation.”

She went on to point out that Sawmill Trail has a fringe of trees, both conifers and deciduous, which keep the wetland waters cool and are home to birds and insects.

READ MORE: Aldergrove residents voice their concerns on removal of long-standing trees

The land alongside Alder Drive, according to Pahlke, is slated for development.

“If we callously destroy the homes of flora and fauna that are dependent on wild areas without empathy for those lives lost, we are helping to orchestrate our demise,” she said. “All life is interconnected, and biodiversity is necessary for our survival.”

In 2019, Township Council identified tree canopy protection as one of the strategic priorities.

Since then, a Tree Protection Bylaw was adopted in July 2019 and a Tree Protection Advisory Committee has been struck in 2020 to review the bylaw and guide the preparation of the Community Forest Management Strategy.

The committee, co-chaired by Councillors Blair Whitmarsh and Petrina Arnason, assists Township staff in a conversational, “round-table” format to offer feedback, review materials, and report back to the community.

The strategy is providing an opportunity for Township residents to help establish a shared vision and priorities for protecting and enhancing our community forest over the coming decades.

“Our trees help make the Township of Langley a great place to be,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “The Community Forest Management Strategy is part of our continuing effort to strengthen our forests and leave an impactful legacy for generations to come.”

Starting May 6, residents will be able to complete an online survey on why trees and woodlands are important to them.

In addition, the community engagement process will provide opportunities to highlight and comment on important areas of forest in their communities.

To learn more about the Community Forest Management Strategy process, visit tol.ca/cfms.

“I want to see the proposed strategies strictly adhered to regarding this proposed development in the Sawmill Trail area,” Pahlke noted. “The trail’s preservation will also address the action of greenspace proximity to residential homes and the action of streamside protection.”


Have a story tip? Email: newsroom@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

AldergroveLangley Township

Just Posted

Shortreed Elementary received $40,000 from the Indigo Love of Reading foundation to purchase new books. (Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Shortreed one of 30 Canadian schools aided by Indigo’s Love of Reading program

Aldergrove school received $40,000, which will be put towards new books for the library

Students staged a flash mob on the last day of dancing at Lisa’s School of Dance in Langley City on Saturday, June 19. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Final dances held at Lisa Dew’s dance school in Langley City

After 35 years, the school has been forced to close due to the bottom-line impact of the pandemic

Jessica Horst, a volunteer with the Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society, picked Scotch Broom at Jackman Wetlands on Wednesday night. (Lisa Dreves/Special to The Star)
Scotch broom removal a big task six years in the making at Jackman Wetlands

Volunteers filled a truck-full of invasive shrub growing rampant in Aldergrove park

Health and safety protocols for arriving international travellers are strict and don’t consider reasons for travel, says a letter writer. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: Langley performer irked by ever-changing, inconsistent COVID rules

Letter writer feels she had not choice but to move to Mexico to ride out pandemic

A fawn separated from his mother by a well-meaning homeowner in Maple Ridge is a cautionary tale, say Conservation officers and staff at Langley’s Critter Care wildlife sanctuary. (Critter Care/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Maple Ridge fawn in Langley wildlife sanctuary after separation from mother

Wildlife officials say moving a fawn is not a good idea

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read