September 29, 2004

Green Space Letter Appears in Burnaby Now

A letter I wrote to the Burnaby Now regarding development near Byrne Creek appeared in the paper today. Here it is:

Dear Editor:

I am dismayed that an island of forest on Griffiths Ave. across from Edmonds Skytrain Station may be rezoned so it can be razed for a high-rise building and townhouses.

Over half of the site is covered with trees and brush that are home to dozens of species of animals, and it abuts salmon-bearing Byrne Creek.

My wife and I own property nearby, we run a small business, and we understand the profit motive and development. Yet I wonder why more green space needs to be destroyed in Burnaby when it has already been disappearing at a frightening pace since we moved to this beautiful city six years ago.

People marvel at Byrne Creek and the ravine park, and the hard-won revitalization and survival of this pocket of nature in an urban area has even attracted international attention. So why are we still allowing "development" to gnaw away at what little nature we have left?

The city has a plan to rehabilitate the downtrodden Edmonds area, and while I support it in general, some of the details are more detrimental than beneficial. Why not put large new developments along Edmonds and Kingsway? Both streets are lined with tired one- and two-storey buildings. Let's flatten them and put the towers and townhouses in areas that are already paved and relatively devoid of wildlife.

Why must we still cringe at the roaring of chainsaws in urban pocket forests? Why must we watch ever-increasing amounts of wasted rainwater pour off ever-expanding polluted parking lots and down storm drains to rip the hearts out of our local creeks?

Children of future generations should be able to experience the joy of exploring and playing in forests, ravines, and creeks just steps from their homes, instead of being relegated to lifeless expanses of concrete.

Paul Cipywnyk, Burnaby

Posted by Paul at September 29, 2004 05:33 PM