Open Letter to Neighbours February 10, 2021
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
We understand the Federal Government is in the process of disposing the Federal land north of 36 Avenue, between 192 and 196 Street in Surrey. See the attached map. Because it is Federal land, other government agencies, and local Indigenous People are being consulted as part of this disposal process. The property is approximately 300 acres in size with about 200 acres of that currently leased to Heppell Bros. for farming. In addition to being very productive farmland, the land is home to a rich biodiversity in the forested areas linked to the Anderson Creek green corridors to the north.
The land is designated by the City of Surrey Official Community Plan for inclusion in the Campbell Heights Industrial Park. The forested part of the property has been identified in the Surrey Biodiversity Strategy; endorsed by Council in 2014, this land is a "green Hub" and part of the green corridors "Green Infrastructure Network (GIN)". See the references at the bottom of this email for more info...
Neighbourhood awareness has been raised recently by the encroachment of development and loss of greenspace on 36th Avenue, and through Facebook postings that brought out a gathering of neighbours to discuss the issues. It was there that several of us volunteered to begin an initiative to organize. We believe we need strong community support to champion these Federal lands. By working with concerned individuals, governments and other organizations supporting the preservation of greenspace, farmland and biodiversity, the current land use can possibly be preserved. We should prepare a position and do what we can to ensure the best possible outcome for the future.
Consultation with all interested parties will be important in this process. If you know of others that will support saving this land please contact them.
The collection of links below will lead you to understand the many players involved. If you can add to this collection please reply. It will be useful to have a library of references and contacts going forward.
A soon to be launched website will provide common ground and information resources for all interested parties. Contact us if you have questions or suggestions.
Rod Hull, Nigel Bell and Sarah Dennis
The following is a collection of links that provide further understanding of the issues.
BC Treaty Commission - Land and Resources
Protecting Farming Practices in BC
Strengthening Farming, with the BC MOA and ALC.
Edge Planning Between Agricultural and Urban Lands in BC
Surrey's Agricultural land base and uses
Campbell Heights – Agricultural and Environmental Issues
Campbell Heights - Local Area Plan Review
British Columbia's Agricultural Land Preservation Program
Surrey's biodiversity goals, targets and conservation priorities.
Surrey Biodiversity Conservations Strategy
The wildlife and natural environments managed by the City of Surrey.
Directives on the sale of federal lands in Canada
Local food security and preserving productive farmland; by Alan Davis, president and vice-chancellor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.