Redwood Park Tree House
By Cheryl Rhodes
In 1893, on their 21st birthday, twin brothers David and Peter Brown received a recently logged piece of land from their father in the southeast corner of Surrey, British Columbia. They decided to create their perfect forest and began by planting Giant Sequoia saplings. Over the years the twins ordered exotic tree seeds from Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. They added a mix of trees native to British Columbia – firs, cedars, and maples – and even built a tree house in their forest where they lived for many years.
Today this 80 acre plot of land is known as Redwood Park, named after the original Giant Sequoia grove, and there are over 50 species of trees from around the world waiting to be discovered by nature lovers.
A park for all seasons
Redwood Park will always be green due to the mix of deciduous and coniferous trees that grow in the park. The difference between the two types of trees is deciduous trees lose their leaves over the winter and grow again in the spring, as opposed to coniferous trees that are evergreen and keep their leaves and needles year round.
In the spring the deciduous trees are coming back to life. Many of these trees flower while they are leafless or as the leaves are beginning to grow, showering the ground with colourful white and pink blossoms. A cluster of daffodils grows on the lawn near the picnic area, flanked by dandelions, daisies, and buttercups. The park is waking up.
In the summer Redwood Park is a popular picnic area. There are covered shelters over picnic tables for protection against the sun or rain and it’s a popular place to spend the day enjoying nature. There is a huge playground for kids, and occasionally the City of Surrey has programs put on by naturalists to discover the different plants and birds that live in the park.
The fall foliage of Redwood Park is in full splendour as the leaves change to fiery reds and brilliant yellows. A walk in the trails is like walking on a carpet of autumn colours.
When it snows in the winter, Redwood Park becomes a tobagganer’s delight. Near the parking lot is a meadow with a nice hill that is always packed with families enjoying the white stuff.
A Day in the Park
The trails through Redwood Park are well maintained and well-marked. Many trees are identified with placards and there are brochures available at one of the map stations for visitors to use for help identifying the trees. The main trail is about 5 km, but there are many smaller paths for people who don’t want to do the entire route. Too many years of rot and decay in a British Columbia rain forest took its toll on the original tree house. It was removed in 1986 and the city of Surrey built a new one, not a replica of the original, but more as a tribute to the twins and their lifestyle. It is a must see, only a short walk down the trail from the picnic area. There are washrooms and a water fountain, including a water fountain for dogs, but they’re seasonal, closed during the winter months.
If you’re a geocacher, bring your GPS because 6 hidden caches are waiting to be discovered inside Redwood Park.
Redwood Park is located at 17900 20th Avenue, Surrey, easily accessed from 176th Street.
Published: September 23, 2013
Cheryl Rhodes writes from Surrey, British Columbia where she lives with two dogs and three horses. She’s the author of 5 novels and a cookbook, and enjoys traveling, photography, swimming, geocaching, reading, and writing mysteries. Visit her at www.cherylrhodes.com