Good news! I wrote previously about the trail expansion on the Twin Bridges trail and my concern that regular vehicle traffic would be permitted on my favourite running trail, disturbing a magical pocket of wilderness and the creatures who live there, including the black bear I spotted on my run a couple weeks ago.
Last week I spoke to Heidi Walsh at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, and asked her what was going on with the trail. She immediately allayed my fears that it would be opened to public vehicles. The reason the trail had been widened so much in some places, including cutting down trees, was that the bridge replacement project requires it temporarily (no comfort to the felled trees, I’m sure). The 50-foot sections of bridge they will be trucking in necessitate that the road be widened in some of the turns. But afterwards they will be rehabilitating the road as much as possible, planting at the road sides to make it narrower again. She acknowledged that the current state of the road was a bit over the top! (That is, a wide, white gravelled, ugly expanse where there used to be a quaint mountain trail.) I was really glad to learn that the planners of this project were sensitive to the aesthetics of the trail and would try to return it to its previous state. Plus very relieved that a bunch of cars would not be coming to pollute the crystal mountain air with exhaust fumes!
Heidi also told me that they were going to cut down three more trees, but the trees contained nests so they were waiting until the nesting season was over. Wow, that’s great! That they are waiting, I mean. And aware, and concerned about the wild life. I also found out that these trees are small deciduous trees, not the two majestic pines that I visit at the Homestead trailhead. Whew!
I am so glad I made that phone call. My worries and concerns about something that wasn’t actually going to happen (the destruction of a wild, peaceful place that I treasure) motivated me to make the call. And what I learned was that the Metro Vancouver planning folks are aware of the impact of their actions on the wilderness, and take care to minimize the effects, even to the extent of waiting until the young birds have fledged!
This makes me feel more hopeful about the future of our planet, and appreciative of my hometown of Vancouver. After all, this is the city that spawned Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation, and Adbusters! My initial response of sadness, anxiety, and a desire to protect the bears led to a positive discovery about reality, people, and my city.
Good News for a Change, by David Suzuki and Holly Dressel, gives many inspiring stories of ways people care for our planet. If you would like to experience another positive outcome from a distressing situation, check out this hilarious video on You Tube: