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Surrey Youth Team Up to Enhance Chantrell Creek Park

mayor with youth in a park

August 6, 2019

Surrey, BC – Surrey’s youth were out in full force last week caring for nature as members from sister programs, Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership (SNAP) and Salmon Habitat Restoration Program (SHaRP), took on invasive vegetation and created new wetland habitat at Chantrell Creek Park.

The team-up included 38 youth from both programs who set out to create native amphibian habitat, improve beaver protection fencing and remove invasive plants at the park located at the headwaters of Chantrell Creek in South Surrey. Some of the heavy lifting included creating ‘complexing’ features in newly shaped pools that will provide shade and shelter within the new wetland habitat. These areas will later fill with water to create deeper areas and shallow benches perfect for native frogs, salamanders and a variety of birds.

The teams also installed new bird boxes along the pond to create a safe nesting place for swallows. The joint project further strengthens the impact of engineering works recently completed downstream to rehabilitate the creek’s natural drainage system thereby improving fish accessibility and maximizing habitat potential. Community members were invited to take a tour to explore the project area, see the teams in action and learn about the importance of natural habitat in Surrey.

These two long-running programs employ secondary and post-secondary students who gain career-oriented training and experience in environmental protection and stewardship by leading implementation of habitat restoration, urban forestry and community involvement initiatives that protect and enhance the city’s natural areas. They also provide opportunities for residents and like-minded organizations to partner in learning about and caring for Surrey’s streams and green spaces.

SHaRP promotes watershed stewardship and improves fish-friendly habitats throughout the community. In its 24th year, SHaRP’s 21 high school students and post-secondary team leads are working throughout the summer and fall months to mitigate urban impacts on streams and waterways through community education outreach, pollution prevention and enhancement of Surrey’s natural environment.

Over the past 18 years, SNAP has been hard at work leading habitat restoration, urban forest outreach and tree care across the city. The team of 17 youth are supported by a unique collaboration between three local non-profit organizations: Green Timbers Heritage Society, Sunnyside Acres Heritage Society and White Rock and Surrey Naturalists Society as well as City of Surrey’s Urban Forestry team. They can be found around Surrey all summer nurturing native plants, removing invasive species and garbage, installing tree wells, watering trees as well as other projects benefit our urban forest.

For more information:

Hannah Bugas
Media and Public Relations Team Lead
Salmon Habitat Restoration Program

Shenae Borschneck
Program Coordinator
Surrey’s Natural Areas Partnership