Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Hollow Tree

If you come and visit me in Vancouver, I would be certain to take you through Stanley Park, a 1,000 acre park in the downtown area. The park is full of trails, surrounded by a 5.5 mile seawall for walkers, cyclists and skaters. The park has many attractions – from lagoons, lakes, rose gardens, water parks, swimming areas, nature trails, yacht clubs, rowing clubs, restaurants, a zoo, a children’s railway and statues. There are beautiful totems.

And beautiful beaches.

The outstanding features is the trees – it is all about the trees. Much of the park remains forested with over a half million trees, many over two hundred years old and 250 feet high. I would most certainly take you to see the “Hollow Tree” inside the park – the remains of an 800 year old cedar – where for generations people have gone to have a photo taken. The Hollow Tree is known as the world’s most photographed tree.
There is a photo of my grandfather taken in the 1920’s – he is in a car inside the tree. When my father came to Vancouver to visit after the birth of my firstborn – yep, we took a photo of them both inside the tree.

At the end of 2006. huge windstorms hit Vancouver and many old growth trees in the park were blown down – the park in fact had to be closed for months as trees were removed from the roads and trails. The Hollow Tree was also damaged – the root flairs spintered and the tree is tilting dangerously. To buttress it and make it safe will take $200,000.
After the windstorms Vancouver citizens donated millions of dollars to help restore the damage done to the park. Now the discussion is whether $200,000 should be spent to keep the Hollow Tree. There is a lot of sentimental value in the tree for everyone. I for one would be sad to see it removed – but then I think - $200,000……that is a lot of money. That money can be used to actually help people. For me the decision would be easy.....people first.....

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