Lynn Valley Road loses 80 trees for new bike lanes

P1350148Lynn Valley Road leading into the community from the Upper Levels looks much different with the removal of 80 trees in the centre median. Why were the trees cut? Two new bike lanes are being installed on both sides of Lynn Valley Road between Mollie Nye Way and Morgan Road. Construction began the week of October 17th with the project expected to take approximately two months. Crews will temporarily remove the centre median and widen the roadway to create room for the separated cycling lanes. The centre median will be replaced, with new trees, once the project is complete.


Bears under threat from continued urban expansion

Black bears and human beings, aside from the occasional unfortunate interaction, have co-existed on the North Shore for over a hundred years. The bears are smart enough to know that human beings are dangerous, and vice versa. There has been an unwritten truce to stay away from each other’s territories, but that truce is starting to crumble as the urban built environment crawls further and further north into the forests on the hill.  At the North Shore Black Bear Society, Christine Miller is starting to worry where all this urban growth may end up.


New ride share shuttle may come to Vancouver

ChariotYou’ve heard of ride share companies like Uber and Lyft? Using an app service that links would-be drivers to clients, anyone can become a taxi driver. Provincial officials in British Columbia have not given the green light to the service but admit that enforcement of such services is nearly impossible. Now there may be competition to Uber and Lyft coming in the form of Chariot.

Ford Motors is buying the app-based shuttle service and partnering with a bike-share company as part of its ongoing effort to expand its traditional business.  Chariot currently operates 100 14-passenger Ford Transit vans in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. The shuttles routes are determined by users’ needs. Ford says it plans to expand the shuttle service to five more cities over the next 18 months.

Ford is partnering with a company that runs bike-sharing programs in 11 U.S. cities. Ford says it plans to increase Motivate’s San Francisco fleet from 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes by 2018, using bicycles made in Detroit. It also will increase the number of stations where riders can rent bikes. Ford GoBike will be accessible through its FordPass app, which launched earlier this year.

FordPass would allow Ford car owners and non-owners to use the app to co-ordinate shared rides, rent cars or bikes and link up to public transportation. Ford is also creating a team that will work with cities around the world to propose solutions to traffic congestion and run pilot programs like shuttle services.

Half the world’s population now lives in cities, and in the next two decades may grow to 60 per cent. Cars are becoming to expensive to own or drive in big cities.  Ford has been running shuttle programs in Kansas City, New York and London for several years. Algorithms developed by Ford and Chariot will be used to map out the best route for the shuttles. Perhaps getting in and out of Lynn Valley could become a bit easier.

By Staff Writer

Exploring Lynn Valley forests with the Ecology Centre

Ecology 2Are there really salmon found in Lynn Valley creeks? (Yes.) Are there really bears in Lynn Valley parks? (Of course.) Is it safe to explore Lynn Valley parks. (Yes, if you don’t get lost.)  What’s the best way to learn about Lynn Valley parks?  At the Ecology Centre, right in the centre of the park.

Since their doors opened in 1971, the Ecology programs and interactive exhibits have helped over 80,000 people each year learn more about coastal temperate rainforests and about local and global environmental concerns.


Lynn Valley forests fun for foraged foods

ea23c73d32a08297f57d92028a4f0ed8Foraged foods, sometimes known as “weeds,” are showing up on the tables of the coolest restaurants in the world. The New York Times says that when you see ramps (Allium tricoccum, better known as wild leeks) featured in the finest gourmet magazines, you know that something is up.

In Lynn Headwaters Park, Robin Kort of Swallow Tail Tours leads tours for curious foodies through the underbrush pointing out various scrumptious edibles invisible to the untrained eye. Kort, a naturalist and former chef herself, leads walks for gourmet foragers. Since Lynn Headwaters is a park, Kort doesn’t pick anything on her weekly tours, but she points out such delicacies as salmonberries, thimbleberries, wild sorrel, miners lettuce, sweet cicely, Indian rhubarb, and ferns. Lots of ferns.

Nearly all types of ferns are edible. So are most mushrooms. There are thousands of types of mushrooms you can eat. The rule with mushrooms is simple. When in doubt, throw it out. Dandelion greens are (as any gardener will tell you) very plentiful everywhere. Oregon-grape are purple-blue berries that grow in bunches on evergreen bushes. Stinging nettles are good for soup greens. Wild watercress and freshly sprouted clover greens and wild flowers are great for salads.

Foraging photoPlantains can be found growing right on your front or back suburban lawns. Those aren’t weeds, they’re lunch! Currents are everywhere on bushes in BC. Elderflowers make a wonderful syrup. Wild asparagus is very tasty. The tips of fir branches are great for making tea, as are rose hips. Oyster mushrooms can best be found around alder trees, growing on dead logs. Nature’s bounty is everywhere.

The woods these days are alive with mushroom and fern pickers, and specialty food stores are popping up for the discerning gourmet. Don’t have time to crawl about the forest? Restaurateurs with sufficient clientele are turning to bulk specialty food providers like Ponderosa Mushrooms in Coquitlam. They will also sell wild asparagus and ramps (wild leeks) if you ask nicely, and order in bulk.

Want to learn more? Well, join the club. Kort’s Swallow Tail Supper Club is dedicated to creating underground, secret and totally bizarre one-time only dining events (“pop ups”) where you will find famous chefs from the town’s top restaurants like Vij’s and Hawksworth slaving over hot pots of hand picked chanterelles grilled and served in white wine sauce. Local foodies can become supper club members via e-mail and then the fun begins. Dinners are held in strange places featuring equally strange (but delicious) food, including foraged seafood like crabs from the inter-tidal zones.  For more information contact

By staff reporter

How to buy a bike, what kind, and where

Rick Loader

~ Rick Loader

What are the most important components of buying a bike?  Well, they aren’t the brakes, that’s for sure.  According to Lynn Valley Bikes co-owner Rick Loader, it’s picking the right size. To do that, first you must identify the purpose.  What will the bike be used for?  Riding to school? Mountain biking?  Commuting to work?

Located at the junction of Mountain Highway and Lynn Valley Road, Lynn Valley Bikes is the closest shop to the mountains and the North Shore’s vast array of mountain biking trails, so naturally they sell more mountain bikes than other models, but Loader says you shouldn’t buy a mountain bike to ride on the street. Maybe a “hybrid” model with fatter tyres than a street bike but still good on trails and pavement is your best bet. Let trained staff suggest an apprpriate model for your needs, and – whatever you do – don’t buy a bike that your child will “grow into.” Buying a big too big is a recipe for failure.