Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Robson Ravine means to me.

When I was a child I had a special stream that I used to play in. I was at my happiest while I was there with the tadpoles and frogs, building dams and redirecting water flow and wading through the clear water. It was magical - that carefree feeling of freedom, no responsibilities, running down the front step and off to a warm summer day exploring the creek.
Later on in life I went back there to find it had been changed into a concrete channel. Predictable drops in water level, a railing by the roadside and no vegetation or wildlife to speak of.

My disappointment was so great. I could feel it grab my soul and crush it till the tears flowed.

When I moved to Surrey, I was delighted to discover the beautiful natural ravines in Northwest Surrey near my home. At the bottom of Robson Ravine flows a small stream and when I hiked this ravine I found that carefree happy feeling of my childhood again. I was so grateful that my daughter had the chance to play in a natural stream like I did.
For some members in our community, Robson Ravine is that stream from their childhood. They roamed its banks and now their children have played there. I imagine when they heard of the Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project they feared that same feeling of disappointment I had when my childhood stream changed. Although we are being reassured the creek will remain untouched, as few trees as possible removed and the trail rebuilt, it will never quite be the same once they install wide gravel paths and protective fencing.
 Robson Ravine is one of the few remaining natural ravine trails left in Surrey. This project will remove something precious and irreplaceable from our landscape.

The parks in Surrey continue to be urbanized to a point where to me they feel very distant from nature. Holland Park had  many trees removed and huge swathes of cement installed with geometrically laid out tended gardens. This is not nature, it is an urban park. In my opinion a poor substitute for the real thing. Robson Park which is across the street from the ravine was also modified into wide open spaces with little shade and very little personality. The natural area is fenced off so that humans will not ruin the wildlife's habitat.

I moved to Surrey 20 years ago, and since that time the city has changed dramatically. Block of trees are being removed along with every living thing in order to make room for large new developments. Trees are being removed one by one along whole city streets until the rooftops seem to loom dangerously overhead. Parking for cars and large homes with multiple suites are becoming the prefered use of land and nature is being taken from our landscape slowly but surely.

Robson Ravine is a precious, green gem in the landscape of Surrey which holds memories of a whole lifetime for so many. There are so few places left like this in our city. Please visit Robson Ravine and enjoy it in its current natural state. While the ravine path will be rebuilt, and new trees planted to replace the old,  it will never quite be the same wild and untamed spot it has been.

Please visit this page for Current Information on the Project.
Visit here for all my photos I've taken of the ravine lately, before it is changed.
Visit here for pictures of the ravine set to music.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing pictures! The Robson Ravine looks just marvellous, reminds of Stanley Park. Here in Regina we don't have anything that amazing, just lots of parks in and around the city. Long live the Robson Ravine!