Saving the old forest

Burnaby society looking for residents’ support

A local society trying to save about 200 acres of forest in Cariboo Heights is inviting anyone interested in joining their cause to a planning meeting on Sunday.

The Old Interurban Forest Preservation Society, founded last year by New Westminster resident Rod Drown, is hoping to get the City of Burnaby to declare a portion of second-growth forest in the southwest corner of the city protected. The forest in question, which stands between Sapperton in New West and Cariboo Road in Burnaby, also contains the only remaining intact portion of the Burnaby Lake Interurban Line, according to Drown.

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The interurban rail line ran between East Vancouver and Sapperton between 1911 and 1953. It was decommissioned in the 1960s, and the Burnaby portion that remains today is used by pedestrians and cyclists in the area, Drown said in a press release.

The society is proposing the city scrap, or at least amend, its community development plan for the Cariboo area to save the trees and rail bed. The plan was approved in the mid-’80s and foresees a need for housing in the area that would require the destruction of the forest.

On Sunday, the society is hosting a public meeting to help drum up support for the preservation initiative.

“The afternoon workshop is to discuss and determine the strategies and steps the society needs to take during 2016 to achieve its goal of having the city declare the forest a protected, no-development area,” Drown said.

The meeting is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the community room at of the Cariboo Heights Housing Co-op at 7251 Cariboo Dr. For more information on the society, click here.

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