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deasine
Apr 1, 2008, 6:23 AM
Hollow tree must fall, park board decides

Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun

Published: Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The iconic hollow tree in Stanley Park is depicted in photographs around the world, but the rotting dead cedar won’t be standing much longer in Vancouver.

Residents shouted “shame, shame,” and called for Vancouver park board commissioners to resign after they voted unanimously Monday night to fell the 13-metre red cedar snag, which the board feared had become a public safety hazard. “It would be an awful thing if people woke up and heard the tree ended its existence by falling on someone,” commissioner Loretta Woodcock said.

A cedar sapling will be planted in the middle of the hollow stump. The snag itself will be halved and laid on the ground, forming a pathway.

In the past, thousands of amateur photographers have clustered around the snag to take pictures of people in its hollow base. The tree has lately been closed off to protect the public.

The snag, believed to be 1,000 years old, has been rotted through since the 1900s and was cracked further during storms last winter, causing it to lean precariously at an 11-degree angle.

Park board staff said it would cost $200,000 to reinforce the snag with external steel braces, which may not even be effective. It has already spent more than $25,000 in the past 40 years buttressing the tree with cables, bolts and braces as the trunk splits vertically from age. The illusion of a green canopy is provided by three hemlocks that grow nearby.

Jim Lowden, park board director of special projects, said any additional steel cables would ruin the site and “diminish the attraction” of the tree, which would likely have fallen down by now if it wasn’t buttressed.

“It’s robbing this tree of the natural wonderful aspect that has made it so important to people for so many years,” he said.

Six residents pleaded with the park board to keep the tree, arguing it didn’t explore all the options to protect what they called a historic artifact and a “special tree” that should be preserved as part of the Olympic legacy.

“This isn’t just a tree that can be stabilized and saved, it is a site like Prospect Point,” said resident Ralph Kelman, of the B.C. Big Tree Committee. “This is an Olympic tree.”

Resident Eleanor Hadley suggested the tree could be supported from within, using dental techniques.

“The tree can be saved from within rather than having these ugly outside braces that ruin Stanley Park,” she said.

But Ian Robertson said the tree should go back to nature.

“We are dealing with a tree that is dead; unfortunately its time has come,” he said.

With a girth of nearly 20 metres, in the early days, the tree provided ample room for horses and their riders. The hollow tree was a stop on a number of horse-drawn carriage rides, which picked up passengers at major hotels for a drive around the park.

And when early automobiles arrived in Vancouver at the turn of the century, many of those cars — such as Stanley Steamers and Ford Model Ts — backed into the tree for the traditional picture.

Source: CanWest

bugsy
Jun 25, 2008, 8:02 AM
Now, I wouldn't normally quote from a bleeding-heart liberal rag, but...

A Vancouver author and heritage advocate has told the Straight he is willing to put his body on the line to prevent the bulldozing of Stanley Park's famous Hollow Tree.

“Definitely,” Bruce Macdonald said in response to questions relating to civil disobedience. “We are going to save it in a natural state and we know we can save it. Once we get the media and the public involved, we know we will do it, although you may want to direct people to our Web site [www.savethehollowtree.com/ ] in case we wind up in jail.”

Macdonald and the group he cofounded, Friends of the Hollow Tree, are asking that people come to a rally at the tree on Sunday (June 22) at 2 p.m.

Macdonald, who wrote the book Vancouver: A Visual History (Talonbooks, 1992), said he was originally concerned about the Hollow Tree when National Geographic did a cover story on Stanley Park in 1992. Now the
NPA-dominated park board is sticking to a decision to cut it down, and Macdonald said this makes him furious.

“The public is 100-percent in favour of saving it,” Macdonald added. “The public was misinformed by the park board, initially.”

On March 31, the park board voted 6–0 in favour of cutting the tree down because it had become a “public safety concern”, according to park board minutes from the meeting.

http://www.straight.com/article-150278/hollow-tree-blockade-says-author

cornholio
Jun 25, 2008, 8:40 AM
cut the darn thing down already, its a freekin stump. All this bureaucracy probably already wasted enough paper to kill a couple hundred live and usefull trees.

Yume-sama
Jun 25, 2008, 7:19 PM
It would be wonderfully ironic if it were to fall over during their demonstration. If only the universe could work in such a way. With that said, are they not going to just lay the tree down instead of removing it altogether? I bet they did not mention any of that when trying to get public support against the removal of the tree. It really is not worth spending hundreds of thousands of public dollars to save a dead tree. But these are probably the same people who think money grows on trees for social housing, too. If they can find some super rich West-van hippy (do they exist?) to cough up the money....

johnjimbc
Jun 25, 2008, 8:25 PM
I still am surprised they haven't come up with a plan to have an artist work with it so that it - or at least a portion of it - can be displayed in an interior public space somewhere. It just seems there is so much you could do with it as it is practically a sculpture in its natural state. I'm sure somone used to working with large public pieces could work with the material in some creative fashion.

Imagine walking into a grand public lobby or gallery space somewhere and having this enormous prominent structure as the centerpiece. Heck, I imagine you could even have a fund-raiser or seek a benefactor to cover the costs for the effort.

Just seems to me that it is far too simple a "cut it down" or "leave it standing til it collapses" decision. What happened to creative solutions?

mr.x
Jul 8, 2008, 7:31 AM
http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/photos/2008/07/08/bc-080707-hollow-tree2.jpg
Stanley Park's hollow tree gets reprieve

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | 1:35 AM ET
CBC News

The Vancouver Park Board has decided to study options to keep Stanley Park's famous hollow tree instead of axing it this week as planned.

Board commissioners voted in a regular meeting Monday night to give a 150-day reprieve to one of Vancouver's oldest treasures. Park board engineers will study options to possibly keep the dead cedar.

The 13-metre-tall stump, located on Park Drive in Stanley Park, is at least 700 years old and for generations, people were photographed standing in the opening of the popular tourist attraction.

Storm damage in recent years, especially 2006, has caused the decomposing hollow trunk to tilt dangerously.

The park board voted on March 31 to cut it down despite opposition from people who said other options should have been given more consideration.

The trunk, which has a 20-metre circumference, is held up by cables, and the surrounding area has been fenced off to keep the public from approaching it.

The park board said in April that the hollow tree will continue to be a tourist attraction after it is cut down, because it will be placed on its side and split in two to make a tree tunnel for visitors.


Board to decide on fate of 70 other trees

A contentious plan to improve a lookout view in Queen Elizabeth Park by cutting down 70 trees was also on the park board's agenda Monday night.

Board commissioners were looking for a way to restore the once popular view across downtown Vancouver toward the North Shore Mountains from the top of 127-metre-tall Little Mountain at the centre of the park.

At least 24 people had signed up to speak at the park board meeting Monday night.

Celia Brauer, a master gardener with VanDusen Gardens, said the trees are the view.

"Who are these people and why do they desperately need to stand atop Queen Elizabeth Park and see the downtown skyscrapers?" Brauer said Sunday.

northwest2k
Jul 8, 2008, 8:19 AM
They should just lay it on the ground and let it rot. Circle of life

mr.x
Jul 8, 2008, 8:23 AM
They should just lay it on the ground and let it rot. Circle of life

Gotta agree with you on that one, which is quite a rare occurrence.

Architype
Jul 8, 2008, 8:26 AM
I think they should use 3d computer graphics imaging, if they haven't already done so, to create a replica. This tree isn't going to last forever.

Re: QE Park, maintaining a view is important; I can see trees everywhere else.

vanman
Jul 8, 2008, 5:37 PM
^If everyone in this city thought like that there would be no trees left. That bitch who poisoned those street trees in front of her English Bay facing condo comes to mind. Plus there have been countless illegal clearcuts in West and North Van all in the name of restoring the view.

In this case the park board should remove all diseased trees, as well as prune and trim and even thin the healthy ones, but they should not remove all the trees altogether. On last night's global news even the tourists were against the complete removal of the trees.

vanman
Jul 8, 2008, 5:38 PM
^If everyone in this city thought like that there would be no trees left. That bitch who poisoned those street trees in front of her English Bay facing condo comes to mind. Plus there have been countless illegal clearcuts in West and North Van all in the name of restoring the view.

Re:Queen Elizabeth park the park board should remove all diseased trees, as well as prune and trim and even thin the healthy ones, but they should not remove all the trees altogether. On last night's global news even the tourists were against the complete removal of the trees.

Smooth
Jul 8, 2008, 6:25 PM
This is a classic case of what annoys me about NIMBYs...

There is no room for compromise. If people accepted that some form of change was inevitable then they would probably end up with something that both parties could live with.

NIMBYs were opposed to the observation tower which would have meant that the trees would be saved. Now they're crying bloody murder now that the trees are being removed to restore the view. If the trees were left standing the residents would be crying foul because the botanical garden would be closed and funding to the park cut because no-one would be visiting.

Same situation is happening down in Tsawwassen. First NIMBYs come out against new powerlines. BCTC proposes putting them underground. Residents cry bloody murder. BCTC goes back to the original plan because they can't be bothered even trying to reach a compromise. How can you even reason with a group of people who move into homes next to a transmission right-of-way then demand that it be removed?

Another one I find amusing is the group trying to save Jericho wharf. The park board want to restore the beach and reduce the size of the wharf. Imagine if a wharf that size was proposed to replace the beach. You'd be guaranteed opposition there too.

Basically, nothing can be done around here without someone screaming that the city is being destroyed.

WarrenC12
Jul 8, 2008, 10:21 PM
Excellent points smooth. These groups only have themselves to blame, yet somehow they never learn. :hell:

I was somewhat sympathetic to the BCTC group until I found out they rejected an earlier, better plan of action. Now I don't care what happens to them.

SpongeG
Jul 8, 2008, 11:04 PM
they built that park a certain way to take advantage of the city/mountain views

the whole viewing area was primed to face the amazing view which is no longer there

tourists really don't know what they are missing in its current state

mooks28
Jul 8, 2008, 11:16 PM
“The public is 100-percent in favour of saving it,” Macdonald added. “The public was misinformed by the park board, initially.”


The public is never 100% in favour of anything. Ever.

mr.x
Jul 8, 2008, 11:19 PM
Honestly, get rid of the park board....they're even more incompetent than city council.

jlousa
Jul 8, 2008, 11:43 PM
the park board is on a giant roll right now, cutting trees, demolishing the wharf, building the English Bay Bistro, not saving the hollow tree, making sure we didn't get those stupid robot dinosaurs. I think they're doing a great job.:tup:

SpongeG
Jul 8, 2008, 11:47 PM
not giving into nimbys! yay

they're doing a better job than in the past

Spork
Oct 29, 2014, 3:13 AM
This seems like a good general thread to put this in, given the generic title...

Park board decides to restore Beaver Lake in Stanley Park to its natural state

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Park+board+decides+restore+Beaver+Lake+Stanley+Park+natural/10332710/story.html#ixzz3HV46qDWb

Beaver Lake, one of the focal points of Stanley Park, has been saved from the brink of extinction by a bold new multi-million-dollar plan approved by the Vancouver park board Monday evening.

Overgrown with lilies and filling up with silt and decaying plant matter, without intervention the lake was destined to vanish and become a meadow by 2020.

A $2-million to $6-million rescue plan approved by the park board will include dredging of the lake, the construction of four new viewing platforms, new boardwalks and much greater bio-diversity in terms of both plants and animals.

Frogs, turtles and wildlife that have largely vanished from the ecologically stressed area are expected to return once the lake and its surrounding area are cleaned up.


http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Park+board+decides+restore+Beaver+Lake+Stanley+Park+natural/10332710/story.html

wrenegade
Oct 29, 2014, 7:52 PM
Great news. I would hate to lose Beaver Lake.

csbvan
Oct 29, 2014, 9:43 PM
Great news. I would hate to lose Beaver Lake.

Completely agree. It's a gem in the park that adds to its diversity. It would be sad to lose it.

Prometheus
Oct 29, 2014, 11:12 PM
You can see how bad it was getting in this image from 2012: https://www.google.ca/maps/myplaces?hl=en&ll=49.304059,-123.138918&spn=0.002236,0.004128&ctz=240&t=h&z=19

Unless it has been done very recently, the same treatment is needed for the pond at Jericho Beach Park: https://www.google.ca/maps/myplaces?hl=en&ll=49.271145,-123.196223&spn=0.001119,0.002064&ctz=240&t=h&z=20

SKYSTHELIMIT
Oct 29, 2014, 11:59 PM
Good news indeed, it's part of my run route and it is becoming less and less of a lake each pass.

Klazu
Oct 30, 2014, 1:32 AM
I have actually never been to this lake. I should perhaps check it out, considering how nearby it is. Good news overall.

Locked In
Oct 30, 2014, 3:57 AM
^ You should definitely check it out - the trails around there are cool too.

I actually ran by a turtle at Beaver Lake this spring, so they're not entirely gone yet thankfully!

jlousa
Dec 5, 2014, 4:11 AM
Not really an update but a throwback, just didn't think it deserved it's own thread but know a few older and perhaps newer members would enjoy seeing info about the old zoo in Stanley Park. A loss to the city, imo.

http://scoutmagazine.ca/2014/12/04/you-should-know-more-about-the-stanley-park-zoo-a-vancouver-institution-until-1996/

trofirhen
Dec 5, 2014, 7:41 AM
I recall going there as a kid, and in particular, watching the playful antics of the polar bears. Bittersweet reminder.

Pinion
Dec 5, 2014, 5:00 PM
Not really an update but a throwback, just didn't think it deserved it's own thread but know a few older and perhaps newer members would enjoy seeing info about the old zoo in Stanley Park. A loss to the city, imo.

http://scoutmagazine.ca/2014/12/04/you-should-know-more-about-the-stanley-park-zoo-a-vancouver-institution-until-1996/

I remember it being smelly and sad. The bored polar bear was yellow, the penguins smelled like death.

My most vivid memory was watching a monkey catch a fly in his hand and eat it. That's very tough for a human to do.

I'm not anti-zoo though. If they made one closer to Woodland Park in Seattle I'd be all for it.

WarrenC12
Dec 5, 2014, 5:41 PM
Agree. The setting was nice, but the conditions were terrible.

Sadly they aren't a lot better in Aldergrove. The zoo in Seattle (and Portland) are both great.

s211
Dec 5, 2014, 6:27 PM
Agree. The setting was nice, but the conditions were terrible.

Sadly they aren't a lot better in Aldergrove. The zoo in Seattle (and Portland) are both great.

Heaven forfend! A zoo in ultra-hipster, urbanista Portland?

WarrenC12
Dec 5, 2014, 6:58 PM
Heaven forfend! A zoo in ultra-hipster, urbanista Portland?

Well, it is called the "Oregon Zoo"... but there's also an LRT station stop there, so who knows. :shrug:

Vancity
Dec 5, 2014, 7:06 PM
Agree. The setting was nice, but the conditions were terrible.

Sadly they aren't a lot better in Aldergrove. The zoo in Seattle (and Portland) are both great.


Don't think I ever went to the zoo in Stanley Park. But I do remember going to the one in Aldergrove - and that is terrible. First of all, why they put it all the way out there (seriously, how many tourists are going to drive all the way out to Aldergrove, to go to the zoo there?). Always wondered why Vancouver didn't put their zoo closer to the downtown core, or at least within the CoV.

I've been to the zoo in Seattle. Terrific experience. Vancouver could learn something from our neighbors to the south, just down the I-5.

WarrenC12
Dec 5, 2014, 7:20 PM
Don't think I ever went to the zoo in Stanley Park. But I do remember going to the one in Aldergrove - and that is terrible. First of all, why they put it all the way out there (seriously, how many tourists are going to drive all the way out to Aldergrove, to go to the zoo there?). Always wondered why Vancouver didn't put their zoo closer to the downtown core, or at least within the CoV.

I've been to the zoo in Seattle. Terrific experience. Vancouver could learn something from our neighbors to the south, just down the I-5.

Well it's a privately run facility, so I'm not sure who you're pointing the finger at here.

Vin
Dec 5, 2014, 9:15 PM
I remember it being smelly and sad. The bored polar bear was yellow, the penguins smelled like death.

My most vivid memory was watching a monkey catch a fly in his hand and eat it. That's very tough for a human to do.

I'm not anti-zoo though. If they made one closer to Woodland Park in Seattle I'd be all for it.

That was only just before the facility shut down. Of course, "smelling like death" would be a really good excuse for the City to close it down for good. Fact is, in the earlier years, the Stanley Park zoo was awesome, but the City was running out of budget (trying to tackle too much drug and homelessness issues perhaps?). I remember the zoo even extended all the way to the Kid's railway compound where you could see white Arctic wolves, beavers and deer and other creatures. But then again there was a growing awareness that wild animals shouldn't be kept in captivity and the City used this opportunity to can the zoo. :yuck:

jhausner
Dec 5, 2014, 9:47 PM
I'm a little confused with the restoration of the lake. I'm all for them restoring lakes especially great looking ones that add to the area and feel.

But is the lake naturally turning into a meadow or is it because of something we've done, we being people?

They use the phrase "restoring it to its natural state" to represent undoing it turning into a meadow, but if it is naturally turning into a meadow doesn't that constitute human intervention against nature something that is completely against the concept of environmentalism?

I mean the Sun is going to die in 4 billion years... it being a dead star will be its natural state at that time... the Earth will eventually not be able to support any life either in about 1.75 billion years. That will be its natural state at that stage, a lifeless rock.

So just because it _was_ a lake at some point doesn't mean that is how it must remain forever. There are a lot of dried up lake beds and extinct rivers that are natural today and it would be insane to return them to their past state due to how ecology has shifted.

I guess I'm just looking for someone who can direct me to the science and study justifying such "restoration" of Beaver Lake.

osirisboy
Dec 5, 2014, 9:56 PM
Stanley park is not natural, period! It's a city park that is constantly manicured and maintained Which I love! The lake being overtaken is a natural occurrence but again Stanley park is not a natural park even though it might look like it.

So just look at beaver lake as part of park mainatance

trofirhen
Dec 5, 2014, 10:18 PM
I recall going there as a kid, and in particular, watching the playful antics of the polar bears. Bittersweet reminder.

I remember it being smelly and sad. The bored polar bear was yellow, the penguins smelled like death.

My most vivid memory was watching a monkey catch a fly in his hand and eat it. That's very tough for a human to do.

I'm not anti-zoo though. If they made one closer to Woodland Park in Seattle I'd be all for it.
Hooooo yes, that smell :yuck: (I'd forgotten about that)

jhausner
Dec 5, 2014, 10:32 PM
Stanley park is not natural, period! It's a city park that is constantly manicured and maintained Which I love! The lake being overtaken is a natural occurrence but again Stanley park is not a natural park even though it might look like it.

So just look at beaver lake as part of park mainatance

Yah so then I take issue with not using accurate language. By saying they are restoring things to their "natural" state, they are implying that the lake is how it is today as with the park, due 100% because of human interference. I'd rather they say that they are upgrading and enhancing the lake and surrounding area to be more ecologically accurate rather than "making it more natural."

If they want to restore it to its natural state, get a pile of bulldozers and start taking down high-rises and residences in the West End, all the roads, the Lion's Gate bridge, etc. then follow up by banning all humans. I just hate how the media and even politicians always seem to make it sound like everything humans do is destruction and evil to the environment.

As you pointed out, it isn't a natural park, it is a man-made creation so "natural" shouldn't ever really be used in the same sentence. The very word natural means to be caused by nature not humankind. The act of dredging and building a "fish ladder" is by very definition not-natural! I dislike our language sometimes.

osirisboy
Dec 5, 2014, 10:54 PM
Yes you are right! They probably use that language as to not upset the hippie tree huggers in the city lol.
I have heard the term restore the lake before. which I think is fair to say. Im anxious to see It finished. It will be a nice addition to the park

Vancity
Dec 5, 2014, 11:00 PM
Well it's a privately run facility, so I'm not sure who you're pointing the finger at here.

how about the actual owners who run it.

why is it run so poorly.

Zassk
Dec 6, 2014, 12:15 AM
I would not say it is run poorly. I would say it has a reputation problem, and most people who say it is run poorly have visited never or not in a long time. It is in much better shape today than it was in previous decades. That said, it still has areas that need refurbishing and enhancement. Chiefly the oldest sections closest to the entrance, which unfortunately give the first impressions. A few sections are unchanged since the day I rode on the elephant there as a small child.

I am overall pleased with the improvements that they have made over the past few years. Gone are the dilapidated bus tours through a bear pen. The newer habitats and walkways and enclosures are a huge improvement over the old ones. It is obvious that they have a plan, and are working incrementally on it.

Their older generation of large animals have been gradually passing away. Their younger animals are in better shape, and many of them have much better living conditions than the old animals had to put up with in the old days.

My guess is they are in desperate need of a cash infusion from a benefactor to take the final step, which ought to include replacement of several old buildings.