Nigel Casson tops a birch tree on Friday

Cheam wetlands still closed due to tree damage

Within Cheam wetlands park, there was damage to approximately 30 per cent of the trees.

Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park is still closed following the massive damage caused by last week’s snow and wind.

The park was assaulted by the same storm that caused damage to power lines, roads, marinas and more throughout the Fraser Valley. The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD), which operates Cheam Lake Wetlands Park, closed it down Monday, Jan. 5 due to the safety concerns.

“All our parks east of Chilliwack suffered some kind of damage,” explains FVRD communications manager Jennifer Kinneman. It took crews time to investigate the park, which, along with most others, needs cleanup of fallen branches, broken limbs and tree tops precariously perched above broken trunks.

Within Cheam wetlands park, there was damage to approximately 30 per cent of the trees. Cleanup began on Tuesday, Jan. 6 and continues as of The Observer’s press time. Crews were on-site Friday, January 9 to show the damage and explain the process of cleanup.

“We’ve never had, after one event, this much of a mess,” relates Gord Gadsen, FVRD parks resource technician.

He says all the branches need to be removed from the paths. Many of them will be run through the FVRD’s wood chipper and the chippings will be spread throughout the park. There are many trees that either need to be trimmed at the point of breaking or cut right down.

The small staff at FVRD have contracted some of the tree clean-up to contractors such as Nigel Casson from Top That Tree Services, based in Chilliwack. On-site Friday, Casson was observed putting on his climbing gear and essentially walking up the side of a giant birch tree beside the wetlands viewing platform. With grips on his shoes and a cable around the tree, he clambered up roughly 30 to 40 feet, his chainsaw swinging at his side.

Carefully assessing the broken tree first, Casson deftly used his chainsaw to bring down the top of the tree where the damage was severe. Gadsen explains that the felled tree top will be good for the beavers, who particularly enjoy birch trees. He then skillfully swung across to another tree where a smaller branch needed to come down.

This process is continuing throughout the week. Kinneman urges locals to not go into the park until it is reopened.

“The signs are there for a reason and the parks are closed for a reason,” says Kinneman.

For information on when the Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park and other FVRD parks will be reopened, check out the FVRD website at www.fvrd.bc.ca

Just Posted

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Wildfire threatens weekend campers at Chehalis Lake

The fire started on the north side of Chehalis Lake Saturday

Abbotsford council OKs bus-to-SkyTrain plan

Fraser Valley Express would begin running to Lougheed Station by start of 2021

Chilliwack community group gathering to benefit youth health centre

Chilliwack Citizens for Change planning tailgate party for CHYC

PET CARE: Canada Day tips for our pet’s anxiety

Columnist Nicolette Joosting examines different ways to help your pets relax through the celebration

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Grey-haired bank robber hit with dye pack in Langley heist

Police are looking for an older man who may be stained with dye

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

New Lower Mainland bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Most Read