An Urban Forest in the Middle of Coquitlam

2 hectares of land that wildlife depends on and residents enjoy is in threat of destruction.
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Watch the Documentary

 

Time: 8.12 min

The Land

 

The urban forest at 3038 Guildford Way in Coquitlam BC needs to be protected. This lot, covering approximately 2 hectares, stands out as one of the last relatively undisturbed natural areas in the central Coquitlam area, hosting several distinct ecosystems in a small plot of land. With a forest floor covered in ferns and

mosses, punctuated by a high diversity of mature and habitat trees, is a premier “pocket habitat” for several local species. The land is zoned as RS2 (single-family housing) and no development plans have been registered nor has rezoning been applied yet (so now is a good time to act). 

The City of Coquitlam plans to destroy this lot to make way for office buildings. In 2012, the City removed more than 150 trees in Glen Park, and against recommendations of an environmental assessment done, replaced nearly all of the forest with a playing field. That happened a block away from 3038 Guildford, removing an absolutely critical habitat for hundreds of species. This cannot happen again. Now is the time to act.

" There are very few relatively natural forest stands left in central Coquitlam that can support such a wide range of wildlife such as found at this site."

John Saremba M.sc M.R.M, local naturalist

"This ecologically significant urban forest forms part of a unique green corridor through Coquitlam's city centre and deserves special protection."

Burke Mountain Naturalists Excecutive

"Healthy, functioning natural areas and systems provide significant value to our community and support diverse, interconnected ecosystems. They have tremendous cultural and spiritual importance and contribute to our community’s livability."

Coquitlam’s 2021 Environmental Sustainability Plan, pg. 52 (ironically)

"As a parent, the days spent with my child at the now-erased Glen Park were pivotal in sparking her interest in nature. I couldn't stand to see yet another urban forest destroyed."

Long-time Coquitlam Resident

The Wildlife

 

Very little native and dense second-growth forest remains in the urban Coquitlam area—the nearby forested area at Lafarge Lake is extremely thin, often disturbed, and limited, and supplies little habitat for birds to breed and nest. This lot allows for a “wildlife corridor” to exist through urban Coquitlam, allowing migratory birds, Hoary and Big Brown Bats, as well as other native organisms, that aren’t comfortable in developed areas, to pass through. Without this lot, there will be no large forested lot between Coquitlam River Park and Hoy Creek. 

Preserving this plot would prevent further fragmentation of wildlife areas by urban development. The lot has a locally unprecedented amount of “habitat trees”, or snags, that are critical for nesting of many native species, especially woodpeckers. Additionally, an abundance of ground-level vegetation offers cover for feeding wrens and sparrows. A short, informal survey period over May-June 2021 revealed locally unparalleled density of nesting and breeding birds.

Human Significance

 

In the Summer of 2021, the city of Coquitlam released their Environment Sustainability Plan (ESP) that outlined several goals regarding the development of the city. Preserving this land would satisfy many goals in the plan, including:

Documentation of local plant and animal species via a detailed survey and inventory. ■ Restoration of key natural elements of a regional green infrastructure network. ■ Designation of a crucial wildlife corridor through the neighbourhood. ■ Protection of 

migrating, resident and/or breeding animal species, such as birds (& their nesting habitats) bats, and butterflies. ■ Ensuring biodiversity is maintained, via this small-scale “pocket habitat”. ■ Retention of natural way to reduce excessive heat in the area, via shaded tree canopy cover ■ Maintenance of a local, natural source of clean air, via trees recycling carbon dioxide. ■ Creation of an educational resource and teaching opportunity for local schools & teachers. ■ Profiling and highlighting a natural public asset in the “downtown”, right across City Hall. 

News

 

Petition Reaches 1000 Signatures

October 15, 2021

Just three days after launching, the petition for Save 3038 has reached 1000 signatures. Many notes from signers can be read on the petition page – further showing just how much public support there is to keep, and enhance, the lot for the purpose of wildlife and nature.

Save 3038 in the Tri-City News

October 13, 2021

Janis Cleugh from the Tri-City News does a story on Adam and the Save 3038 initiative for the Tri-City News, and can be viewed here. 

City of Coquitlam Refuses Access to 3038 Guildford for Ecological Survey

September 27, 2021

Post-secondary students offering to conduct a (free) comprehensive ecological review of the lot, complete with flora and fauna surveys, and recommendations for future use and habitat restoration guidelines, were refused access from entering the lot.

Presenting at NECRA

October 10, 2021

Adam Dhalla will be presenting at the AGM of the Northeast Coquitlam Ratepayer’s Association on October 21st. There will be a discussion period afterwards. Admission is open to the public. Find out more about attending here.