Tree-savers sought for Saturday!

It’s weed pull time again! Celebrate the first week of spring by getting your hands dirty with North Shore Streamkeepers.

IMG_0807The group is looking for volunteers to help remove invasive plant species and replant native species in Lynn Canyon Park on Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Some trees in the area are being “girdled” by ivy vines that will ultimately choke off the vessels that supply oxygen throughout the tree, so cutting off those vines is just one of the priorities on the list.

All ages are welcome, and attendees are invited to meet at the bottom of the hill from the trailhead of the Baden Powell, across from End of the Line (4193 Lynn Valley Rd). Bring along your garden gloves, drinking water, a reusable mug and weather-appropriate clothing; snacks, tools and good company are provided!

North Shore Streamkeepers undertake all sorts of studies and activities that protect our local waterways and enhance fish populations. Learn more about their work, and how to get involved, right here.

(more…)

Lynn Valley right to prepare for floods

By guest writer

No one in Lynn Valley needs to be reminded that their neighbourhood sees more rain than anywhere else in the Greater Vancouver region. The area gets about 2,500 mm of precipitation every year while the airport receives about 1,400 mm.

This brings up the question of heavy rains that can lead to flooding, and what to do about it. In November 2014 a heavy rainfall in Lynn Valley caused creeks to overflow their banks and turned quiet streets into rivers. Up to 17 homes were evacuated and at least 20 homes suffered water damage. Mud and water from Hastings Creek also washed into Argyle Secondary, damaging about eight classrooms and shutting the school down.

(more…)

Hastings Creek kept clean by dedicated crew

By staff writer

If you saw a team of people strolling through the woods wearing muddy boots and toting hockey sticks on a rainy Saturday afternoon in the fall, you might think: “Yes, it’s hockey night in Canada, but these folks have gone too far.” The North Shore Streamkeepers (NSSK) are true Canadians, but they aren’t playing street hockey on the pond. They are cleaning the creek and looking for signs of coho salmon, all the way up to the pond. Donovan’s Pond, that is.

Hastings Creek is one of the six tributaries of Lynn Creek. Considered one of the most important small fish-bearing streams in North Vancouver, Hastings originates on the east slope of Grouse Mountain and flows through Princess Park, Hunter Park, the Lynn Valley commercial area, and various residential areas until it joins Lynn Creek in the Arbour Lynn area.

(more…)

Headwaters road deterioration prompts closure to vehicles

 

Temporary Closure to Lynn Headwaters Access Road

In the interest of public safety, the District of North Vancouver has closed its access road to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park at the top of Lynn Valley Road to vehicles, effective immediately.

The road, which cuts through steeply sloped terrain, has deteriorated to the extent that portions of the road are at risk of failure, which could result in landslide. At this time, the closure applies to vehicles only; pedestrian and bicycle access is still permitted. Pedestrians may also access the park from Lynn Valley Road via the Varley Trail.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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 www.swallowtail.ca/trips.

By staff reporter

Take a “Jane’s Walk” and hear Lynn Valley history

Jane’s Walks are coming to Lynn Valley,  just in time to celebrate the 100th birthday of the person after whom they were named.

Writer and activist Jane Jacobs had a significant influence on urban planning in the 1960s, when she introduced concepts such as “social capital” in designing communities that better served the overall needs of their residents.

LV Rd by Ross Rd c 1920s NVMA

Lynn Valley Road by Ross Road, circa 1920s. Courtesy of NV Museum & Archives.

Today, Jane’s Walks are free, citizen-led walking tours, in which people get together to explore, talk about, and celebrate their neighbourhoods. On Saturday, May 7, North Vancouver Museum and Archives Curator Karen Dearlove will lead a tour of Lynn Valley, which will be illustrated by historical facts, anecdotes, and historical images, many pertaining to the neighbourhood’s history as a logging and shingle-building community.

The tour will begin at the Community History Centre located in the former Lynn Valley school building at 3203 Institute Road. The tour will begin at 10:30 a.m. and last approximately one hour.

(more…)

Gardening season is here, and LV plant sale, too!

With the recent (on and off!) spate of sunny weather, Lynn Valley green thumbs are itchy to get out into their gardens.

gardenIt’s too early to get annuals out, but we have a great list of gardening tasks that can (and should!) be tackled right now, thanks to our friends at Endless Summer Landscaping. Have a look, then roll up your sleeves!

With  flowering spring bulbs cheering the gardens and roadways, inspiration is everywhere you look – and who doesn’t love cherry blossom season? You can learn more about our many local cultivars and where to see them, and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, by reading this super article by Michael McCarthy over at our sister site, LonsdaleLife.

After your garden is in shape for the spring and summer, you can reward yourself with a trip to a local plant sale. The Lynn Valley Garden Club annual plant sale is always a popular pick, and takes place this year on Saturday May 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Clement’s Church, 3400 Institute Road, on the east side of Lynn Valley Park.

You will be able to choose plants for sun, shade, and container gardening, as well as herbs and veggies. Plants are grown by members in their own gardens, so are proven to be “tried and true” for the North Shore! Proceeds go to local community and charitable gardening projects. The club will only be equipped for cash-only sales, so please arrive prepared! For more information, email lvgcplantsale@gmail.com or visit the club website. (And p.s. – did you know the Lynn Valley Garden Club has been part of our community since 1943? In fact it’s been such a popular group that at times there is a waiting list for membership!)

We hope Mother Nature cooperates with local gardeners this year! If your hard work pays off and you would like to share some photos of your garden, please send them our way! We’d love to use them on our site or put them out on our Facebook page!