Don Buchanan cycled through the park a few days after the first big windstorm and caught this shot of the blowdown completely covering the road just to the west of Lost Lagoon:
Stanley Park blowdown
The impact of the storm was very selective. I saw the Lumberman’s Arch area a few days later and it seemed completely untouched – not even much tree litter on the ground. I’m told that only one of the nests in the heronry next to the tennis courts looked to have been blown down – a testament to architectural and construction ability of birds – though I wonder how they weather such storms.
So far I’m ambivalent about the impact. This is part of nature, after all – and something to be expected given past history (Hurricane Freda) and the fact that we stop fire from doing its job. This is how nature regenerates.
Ironically, in some ways the park will be a more interesting experience – at least from a human perspective. The views through to the water will be enhanced around Prospect Point: blue glinting through green is more captivating than the forest wall which lined most of Park Drive. And it will likely encourage people to wander into the interior of the park and look more carefully at the actual fabric of the forest, something very few of us actually do.
And, as I noted in my column below, it will make the issue of climate change a very personal reality.


  1. Good points. Maybe the forest in Stanley Park just isn’t meant to be that dense. If fire isn’t allowed to do it’s job, mother nature ensures that it will be thinned out one way or another.

  2. I agree.
    It’ll be interesting to see whether the Parks Board undertakes a mass planting of seedlings – with the result that in 10 years Stanley Park will look like a tree farm – or whether they will allow nature to take its course (i.e. broadleaf species take root (alder, maples, undergrowth, to add compost (humus) to the soils), followed years later by conifers.

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