Tag Archives: Surrey

Hawthorne Park

Happy MaxI don’t want to be maudlin here, but I’ve really missed Max. I’ve been poking around the blog lately, and realized we visited an awful lot of parks around Surrey. So over the last few days, I’ve been going for long walks in the parks that Max and I spent so much time in. Blooms in Hawthorne ParkOn Sunday, Pam and I checked out Sunnyside Acres Urban Forest, a relatively flat park where we used to jog a lot.

Yesterday, while Pam worked, I visited Tynehead fish hatchery, a park that has lots of squirrels. They are bold little guys, crisscrossing the paths. I kinda chuckled, thinking Max would of been chasing them into the trees in a hurry!

Statue in the parkAnd today I went for a walk around Hawthorne park, in North Surrey. Max used to really love this park. It has big ponds full of ducks, and he’d give them a good chase! He’d go charging down to the water, and slam on the brakes just before the water, trying not to get his feet wet. Funny guy…

Muscovy duckWell today I saw a duck I’ve never seen before! It’s apparently called a Muscovy duck, and it’s a strange looking bird. It’s not native to Canada, so I have no idea how or why it’s here. I’ve put in a short movie here, so you can see how it moves – almost like a turkey, really, it’s head bobbling back and forth.

Hope you all are well and enjoying spring in your neck of the woods.

Hawthorne Park, North Surrey

Hawthorne ParkAnother beautiful day in Surrey, another chance to visit a new park. Today we decided to visit Hawthorne Park, in North Surrey. The area is currently undergoing a lot of development, with lovely single family homes going in. The area has a magnificent view towards the mountains, which Hawthorne Parkwere gleaming under the midday sun. Mt. Baker was clearly visible to the south.

We had a little problem finding an entrance to the park, as we approached it from the west. There were walking entrances, to be sure, but clearly not the main entrance. As we circled the park we found a small parking lot on the east side, across the street from a local school.

We entered the park and had 3 or 4 large gravel pathways to choose from. We headed south, along side a little brook. There were lots of deciduous trees, so the park seemed a little bare right now. Clearly, it will be Hawthorne Catmarvelous in the summer months. As we strolled along we came across a large pond, covered in ducks! There was a long tree that had fallen into the pond. Sitting on the tree trunk, in the middle of the pond was a cat! Too funny!

Hawthorne GardensWe walked around the very large pond and discovered the main entrance. There was a large children’s play area, with a water park to one side. There was a mini climbing wall, swings, sit and spins – just lots of things for kids to do. There are a couple of covered picnic tables, and lots of open playing fields.

Duck chaser MaxNearby were some formal gardens. Pathways crisscross through beds of daffodils, heather, hyacinth, grape hyacinth and rhododendrons. There are lots of blooming cherry and apple trees, exploding with pale pink flowers. Very pretty walk.

Happy MaxWe crossed a little bridge and Max got his fill of duck chasing again! There were lots of ducks on this pond, and Max actually got his feet wet in this pond! That’s a first! He does love to chase along the water’s edge; I’m not sure what he’d do if one of the ducks refused to leave!

We spent over an hour wandering the pathways that intersect this park. I’m not sure of the size of this park, but it is quite large. We mentioned several times that it will be a good place to jog, since most of the paths are quite flat, wide and well drained.

As we returned to the car, we explored the north side of the park, and found a grove of large redwood trees, and another large brook. It was another great afternoon in the Surrey Parks System! We’ll certainly be coming back to this park for further exploration on another day.

Boundary Park, Surrey

Boundary ParkThe lake at Boundary ParkToday was a glorious sunny spring day and so we piled Max into the car and took off for a new park to explore. We decided on Boundary Park, very close to the Delta Watershed, a park that is in the news lately for a rather depressing sign of the times. I’m not going to talk about that, but just focus on how beautiful this park is!

Max Boundary ParkWe approached it from the “wrong side,” in that we didn’t park at the main entrance, but entered the park from a side street. It is really quite spectacular with large redwoods towering over the many paths. One fallen tree was over twelve feet across! We had visited a park the other day that claimed to have the largest grove of redwoods, but this park surely comes a close second! Very very nice to wander around in this immense grove of trees.

Happy MaxThe park kind of meanders through a neighbourhood of large single family homes, and eventually you come a wonderful little lake. This lake is actually right by the main entrance to the park. It was full of ducks and geese and other waterfowl. Lots of people were wandering around the park, walking their dogs, pushing strollers with their wee gaffers; it was a delightful setting.

Max in Boundary ParkMax really enjoys chasing ducks for some reason, so we let him off his leash and let him charge all over. He’s so funny! He takes off at a gallop, steaming down to the water’s edge, and slams on the brakes! He simply won’t enter the water! Boundary Park LakeFor some reason, every time the ducks rushed away from the Charging Chow, other ducks made a beeline for him, as if to see what the fuss was all about. Or maybe they were coming over to laugh at this silly dog who won’t go in the water!

Goose Boundary ParkThis is another example of a city park that is very well done. Surrey is rightfully proud of it’s many urban parks, and Boundary Park is obviously a well-used, well-cared for park. Max simply loved it. And so did we!

Fleetwood Parks, North Surrey

Sculpture - Multiple of ThreeToday we explored three North Surrey parks, in the Fleetwood neighbourhood. The theme for our walk was public art, and each offered different experiences, in vastly different settings. The first park was called Meagan Ann Macdougal Park. There is a sculpture there called “Multiples of Three” a steel and granite sculpture of monumental size.

The sculptor is Alberto Replanski, and it was installed in July of 2002. It was pretty much a disappointment. The steel has rusted to a significant degree, and it really looked to me like an eyesore. The park itself is not much either. It is really just a small neighbourhood park that is not that well kept, has a rather small playset suitable for just few children, and the wooded area seems a mess. We had a pretty short stop there!

Fleetwood-Retaining-WallWe then headed over to the Fleetwood Community Center which is ringed by lovely, well-kept grounds. There is a very new exercise circuit, designed for seniors, since there are quite a few seniors residences surrounding the area. There was an unsightly retaining wall, that students of local art colleges have made pretty with various hand made tiles, of fish, animals, plants, and portraits. There are also tiles with script, teaching you the history of the Fleetwood district.

Arthur FleetwoodIt was there that we learned that the Fleetwood area is named for Arthur Thomas Fleetwood, a soldier who died in the Great War. He enlisted in 1915 and was quickly sent to the front. He was wounded, but returned to the battlefield  in May 1917. He was mortally wounded by a bayonet thrust in September 1917, age 39.

Arthur-closeupHis sister refused to let his name die, however, even though he was “a common ordinary man.” She petitioned to have the community center named for him, and now the name Fleetwood adorns everything from pubs, to stores, schools, community centers, condo projects and car lots.

There is a life-size bronze of him, in uniform, with his kit bag at his feet, seated on a park bench. It is a very finely crafted piece, by the sculptor Nathan Scott. It was really quite moving to “see” him. A man of small stature, he seems to be waiting for his sister to arrive, to take him home. His hat rests on his leg, kit bag at his feet. He has a calm visage, patiently waiting. Really moving, and definitely worth a second look.

Fleetwood Gardens - DaffodilsNext we tried a new way home and discovered a recent addition to the Surrey Parks and it is called Fleetwood Gardens. It’s a very large park, way bigger than we were able to explore in one afternoon. It has amazing facilities for children, with more play areas than any park we’ve been too. There are soccer fields, tennis courts, volleyball courts, softball diamonds, and just miles and miles of trails.

Stone-StatueThere were wonderful manicured flower gardens, well signed to let you know what is going on. As you stroll through the trails, there suddenly appear marvelous stone sculptures blending nicely with the landscaping. There were even stone slabs with poetry!

Tri-Face-SculptureAnd the trails! Miles and miles of trails crossing over streams, lovely bridges, wonderful flowers everywhere. I can see that this park will be on my regular route! Max and I will be exploring it a lot as we train for the Sun Run.

Redwood Park, South Surrey

RedwoodsToday we went for a walk  in a park we have not been to before, Redwood Park. It is really a remarkable park, with a very cool story. It is on a hill, that had been logged completely bare. It was owned by David Brown, who gave 40 acres each to his deaf twin sons, David and Peter, on the occasion of their 21st birthday.

Public Art, Redwood ParkThey had a blank page, as it were, and almost immediately began replanting the hill with trees from around the world, all from seedlings! They planted a huge grove of Redwoods, which gives the park its name. But there are also trees from Japan, Italy, Russia, Austria, France and California. There are over 32 varieties of trees, from beech, to oak, to walnut. There is even a species of tree that was thought to be extinct!

TreehouseThere are numerous trails leading through the park, and there are lots of plaques to tell you the various types of trees all over the park. It is fascinating! The twins lived in a two story tree house they had constructed on the land. But unfortunately it burned a couple of times, and was ultimately taken down as a safety measure. The Parks Board has recreated a small version, and it still stands today in the park.

Max and a doorThe park has a large play area for children to frolic about. There are several statues, and lots of viewing areas. It’s definitely going to be on our list of parks to visit over and over! We walked just a few of the trails today, but I can’t wait to get back and do a run through it. It should be very wonderful in the summer, with all the trees full of leaves!

Peacocks in the city

PeacockThere was an article in one of our local papers this morning about peacocks, and how they are disturbing a neighbourhood. Some of the locals complained about their noise, and their habit of going to the bathroom on the sidewalk, driveways, and roofs of their homes.

Male PeacockI was totally fascinated. Particularly because the neighbourhood is within walking distance of our house! That’s right! Peacocks wandering around Surrey! I found it very hard to believe, but the paper pointed out that a peacock is basically a pheasant, and there was no reason they couldn’t survive in the wild here in the Lower Mainland.

PeacocksWell, Pam and I just had to go check it out! And holy cow! As we wandered around, there they were, sunning themselves in the front yard of a house. But there are a LOT of these birds! And Male Peacockthey are BIG. Some up to thirty pounds!

The article said there were fifteen, although they said that some people had reported that there might be as many as thirty. Well, I can confirm there are OVER thirty. I counted 28, in two yards, and another five perched on a fence.Showing off

On the fenceIt was really remarkable. They had very little fear of me, allowing me to get within a couple feet of them, before merely moving off at a very slow rate.

Very very cool. Truly a remarkable thing…. it will definitely be part of my strolls in the future! We had Max with us, but we kept him back, because he really wanted to go after them! He loves to chase birds!

Back to the Watershed

March 01 2009 in the Watershed Well today Max and I went back to the Watershed Park in south Surrey.

It’s a great park. I’ve done some running around the Lower Mainland, and I really like this park. The trails are not paved, so it’s easier on the knees and ankles. We spent nearly two hours here today, switching from the upper to lower trails.

Watershed parkIt’s a wonderful experience. Old growth forest, so peaceful…. walk about 30 seconds into the park and the traffic noise fades away and you’re alone in the forest.

I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed running as much as I have through this park. It’s really a lot of fun. Even better than Stanley Park – the grounds here are more natural. The park is so large. It seems like you are alone in the park.

March 01 2009. Watershed Park.We’re going to take in a different park each week, so stay tuned for more!

The watershed is part of Surrey’s park system, which is the best and largest in Canada. We have more park space than any city in Canada. And Max and I are going to explore every one of them! hah