Grads of 2020 pivot for the pandemic

When the world stopped mid-March it was the middle of Spring Break. Students had left school on Friday expecting to return after a warm vacation or some skiing on local hills. They didn’t expect they’d never walk the halls or play on sports teams again. As this year’s Argyle Secondary School Valedictorian Jake Rubin explains, it was a curveball they never saw coming.


Grade 12 traditions


“We all had a vision of what our Grade 12 year would look like,” said Rubin. “For me, I had a trip to Europe with the music program to look forward to, I had expectations for my final seasons on sports teams that couldn’t happen. It was my last year and I decided to be ambitious.”

Like other Grade 12 students across the province Rubin was looking forward to the last term of school to take part in school traditions, final tournaments and to simply spend time with friends before university. 

“At the beginning of spring break we were starting to see things close but I still thought we would still have school in two weeks,” he said. “Soon though, there was a feeling we wouldn’t step back into the school.”


Argyle Secondary


As the grad class prepares to move on with five years of Argyle under their belts, Rubin said it’s remarkable how much the students have changed. 

“Argyle is a place that helps students find their potential,” he said. “It has so many special programs, clubs, music, athletics. I have seen a lot of classmates find talents and passions they never knew they had. They now enjoy them so much they are forming their future.”

School Principal Kim Jonat also sees big changes in this class.

“The Argyle grads of 2020 have shown notable growth,” said Jonat. “They have had to overcome many losses and have become more resilient in the process.  They have lost the ability to attend many important events in traditional ways such as graduation banquets and ceremonies, have been unable to attend daily classes and interact with their peers at school this Spring.  They have also had to navigate new terrain and learn in new and different ways.

“This was certainly not the way any of us anticipated our grads finishing off their 13 years of public schooling and yet here we are. While the immediate future is uncertain I have no doubt that the Argyle grads of 2020 will accomplish anything they set their minds to.”

When the doors closed in March, many aspects of the grad year were left feeling unfinished, said Rubin. Some, like friendships while different are going strong with a bit more effort in a new physically distant way but other aspects can’t be completed. 

“For our rugby team this was going to be the year,” he said. “As a team we were really rebuilding. We had started to win – which wasn’t normal for my year. We had found our footing, and put in a lot of time and work to win. It was the year we thought we had a chance.”


The future


Most adults would agree highschool graduation and starting university are formative milestones. For the grads of 2020, those expectations have been wiped clean. The last few months have shown students what their early university will look like.

“I am going to UBC for engineering,” said Rubin. “We know at the moment, that it will be completely online for the first semester. As we switched to online classes [for Grade 12], I was surprised by the amount of work that I got done, without the classroom as motivation.”

Their last summer vacation has also changed. Plans to celebrate grad or even summer jobs won’t go as planned.

“I think we will still be able to have adventures,” said Rubin. “It will look different, we will need to make sure we are safe, staying in BC and spending time with a small group of friends – safely. Some of my friends worry about not getting to work, so they are looking for smaller summer jobs.”


The cap and gown


Argyle, like many schools, has opted for a digital grad. Students were invited in very small groups to don their cap and gown and walk across the stage in a new physically distant way – no handshakes, no hugs. It was all captured on video with the plan to edit all the students together for a video released later this month. 

“I think it’s actually going to look pretty nice,” said Rubin. “We each had our grad profiles read and were able to throw our hats in the air. All the students who are giving speeches were able to record those at the end.”

As the students take the first steps into adulthood, the pandemic pivot has left some regrets but also a unique experience. 

“I wish we could have gone back to school – just to say hi and see people before we head off in different directions. Who knows, maybe I will be telling my kids about how we lived through this bit of history,” said Rubin. “I am optimistic for the future – an informed optimistic.” 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Dropping a line near End of the Line

With the rushing waters of the Capilano, the wharf at Cate’s Park and the tranquil quiet of Rice Lake, the North Shore is an angler’s dream. As a quiet, close to home summer sits on the horizon, fishing might be something new to get the family outside.


Getting started


“You can spend as much as $1000 or as little as $50,” said Reece Fowler, education director of the Seymour Salmonid Society. “You can probably spend a lot less than $50 if you head to Canadian Tire or Walmart. You just need a rod kit with a spinning reel.”

Family Fishing Weekend

Provincial fishing regulations allow children under the age of 16 to fish without a licence, but there are handful of rules to learn and becoming familiar with fishing closures (like the Seymour River) is part of fishing responsibly. Plus, there are additional licencing and regulations for saltwater and tidal fishing. 

But really it’s just a kid willing to try, a rod and some bait, says Fowler. While worms are a classic, he has other suggestions to get fish biting. 

“Power Bait is kind of like Play-Doh and comes in a little jar, smells like fish obviously,” he said. “You form a little ball on your hook, and cast it out. A sinker will sit on the lake bed but the bait floats up.”

It is a good option especially in the summer when the trout are deeper in the water.


Local waters


Lynn Valley’s Rice Lake is one of the go to locations for new anglers in the Lower Mainland. The man-made lake is an ideal location for stocked trout. With just a short walk in from the parking lot little legs will still have some energy to fish.

Family Fishing Weekend

“Originally Rice Lake was first made as a water reservoir and then used by the logging industry to help move logs down from Lynn Valley,” said Fowler. “It’s quite a nice environment for trout – there are no water activities, you can’t swim, you can’t go boating. The forest is nearby so there is a fair amount of food for the trout.”

Several times a year Rice Lake is stocked by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. – information worth checking out. Most recently it was stocked with 4,000 trout in the first week of April. 

“It is stocked three or four times a year,” said Fowler. “You have the best chance to catch a fish within a week or two of a release because there are a lot of people who fish there, it gets fished out.” 

Between the stocking and the location Rice Lake is a good bet for a first fishing experience.

“You can park at the top and it’s a five minute walk in. There is a dock there as well as a number of other spots along the lake that have been cleared and created.” 

Being a small lake, Fowler offered this tip.

“Rice Lake is not as great in the peak of summer because it is not a huge lake, and it can get warm. The fish can be reluctant to bite. When you are fishing Rice Lake the key is to not go in the middle of the day in the middle of summer.”


Family Fun


Reece Fowler

Fishing can be a great way to share something you love or to learn something new with your kids. Typically the Seymour Salmonid Society teams up with partners to mark Family Fishing Weekend every Father’s Day. This year’s plans have been cancelled due to the pandemic but the annual event hopes to be back in the future with its equipment to borrow and info booths to get people out fishing. 

In the meantime, a little parental enthusiasm and family time can be a great introduction to the sport. 

“I love fishing and I have been dragging my daughter out since she was about four and now she loves it,” said Fowler. 

They visit Rice lake together often, plus his work gives Fowler and his seven-year-old daughter some unique opportunities to fish. While the Seymour River is currently closed to sport fishing, having suffered significant habitat upset after the 2014 rock slide, efforts to rebuild the fish population require catching fish for breeding at the Seymour Hatchery. 

“She has caught salmon every year for the past couple of years,” said Fowler. “When you’re having to hold on to a six-year-old kid so they don’t get pulled in the river by a big salmon it creates a bit of buzz.”


Further afield


There are a number of other spots worth checking out in the Lower Mainland. Fowler recommends Murrin Provincial Park with its sandy beach and small stocked lake, Buntzen Lake and Burnaby Lake. (Review each location’s governing body for openings and closures due to Covid-19 before your trip.)

North Vancouver also has a number of rivers known for fishing but Fowler doesn’t recommend them for children or new anglers. 

“Flowing water depends on experience. How old are the kids? Have they been introduced to rivers in the past? Most of our rivers are canyonated with steep sides,” he said. “They can be tough to get into if you aren’t experienced.”

During salmon fishing openings the mouth of a Seymour is an option, said Fowler with more of an estuary-like environment. It will also require a salt water licence and knowledge of tidal fishing regulations, he said.  


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Living on the edge

We live in a special place. Nestled between two mountains on the edge of one of the world’s best cities, it is a unique situation shared by few other places. Where else in the world can you live a 20 minute drive from downtown but also be a 20 minute bike ride from the backcountry. As summer comes full force we need to think about how to keep our special community, our homes and forest safe.


Wildfire home protection


Living on the edge of the forest there are some unique considerations to prepare your home to be in its best position to resist fire. The District of North Vancouver has an interactive website offering suggestions. 

  • Use fire resistant plants: Plant wildfire resistant plants within 10m of your house (avoid pine, cedar, spruce, and juniper)
  • Replace conifer hedges:  Replace flammable conifer hedges with low flammable species.
  • Prune conifer trees: Prune conifer trees to give a 3m separation from ground to crown, and to buildings.
  • Clear eaves: Clear your eaves regularly to ensure no build-up of debris.
  • Screen your roof vents: Put screens over vents to keep debris and embers out.
  • Replace cedar roofs: Replace cedar roofs with non-combustible ones (metal, ceramic, asphalt).
  • Use fire retardant coatings: Treat fences, decks, and garden sheds with a fire retardant coating.

Keeping the home fires burning – maybe


There are clear regulations of what is allowed for recreational burning on the District of North Vancouver website. While gas or propane fueled devices are generally allowed, most wood burning units are not. 

Permitted:

  • burner (natural gas or propane)
  • outdoor gas fire bowl
  • gas barbecue
  • charcoal barbecue
  • patio heater (natural gas or propane)

These open fires are not permitted (minimum $400 fine):

  • fire pit
  • chiminea
  • outdoor fireplace
  • fire bowl/yard campfire
  • Requiring permit: beach/park fire and outdoor pizza oven 

Learn more


For those planning more extensive construction this summer there are additional regulations that need to be considered. 

There are also additional resources from the the province and federal governments. 

From the archives

We spoke with the District of North Vancouver Fire Rescue about its wildfire preparations and how they were training additional District staff to support their work in the event of a fire. Check out that post here


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Hitting local trails with kids

With Dr. Bonnie Henry’s call to stay close to home, to stay active and get outdoors, a new book is aiming to support local outdoor adventures with your kids. Local teen Harrison Crerar’s second book, was published by Rocky Mountain Books just last month.


Foster a love of the outdoors


Still a teen himself, author Harrison Crerar has brought a unique perspective to his new book Family Walks and Hikes on Greater Vancouver’s North Shore in hopes other kids will love the outdoors as much as he does. 

“I have been so lucky to grow up on the North Shore,” he said. “I have so many fond memories of fun adventures. There are so many parks and so much to explore.”

His family made the time outside a part of regular life. His North Shore childhood focused on adventure and discovery, which just so happened to take place on trails. 

“I have been hiking, really, since I could walk,” said Crerar, a biology student at McGill University. “One of my earliest memories is hiking up Goat Mountain when I was young.” 

Focusing on exploration had him looking for salmon along local creeks, finding a particular plant or trying to spy particular Howe Sound peaks across a view.


Give kids credit – and time


Harrison Crerar

“Kids can do a lot more than you think they can,” said Crerar. “They love nature a lot – give them something to explore, something that is fun and they will want to go on hikes.”

He encourages families to focus on the journey, slowing the pace and allowing kids to investigate in the ways they want to.  

“[For me] there was a lot of discovery involved,” he said, adding Crerar remembers his parents hiding Easter Eggs or helping the family find Geocaches. “If you give kids time and space, they will enjoy it.”


The new book


Similar to his first book, with co-authors Bill Maurer and David Crerar, Glorious Mountains of Vancouver’s North Shore, this book focuses on local mountains from Lion’s Bay to Deep Cove, along with some Howe Sound Islands. 

“This is a family hiking guide for the North Shore, including lots of hikes in Lynn Valley,” said Crerar. “When it comes to Introducing kids to hiking you have to start small like an easy walk around Rice Lake or the Varley Trail – something to get kids interested and then as you go on, introduce longer and more interesting hikes. And it never hurts to have a bit of chocolate for the end to motivate them to go a little bit further.”

When writing the book last year he re-explored many of the trails with his young siblings. 

“I have a different perspective than most authors,” he said. “I have three younger siblings and we did a lot of these hikes together as I researched the book. I recalled what I liked about these hikes but also what my seven-year-old brother liked about the hikes.”

This led Crerar to think about each route and how it would specifically appeal to families. 

“In each of the descriptions we have included what we think might be fun for kids that adults may overlook. Like a rock – to adults a big rock is just a big rock but to kids it can be fun to run around, to climb up or maybe it becomes a castle,” he said.

Ranging from first-timer easy to moderately challenging, the routes are accessible from reliable roads and popular staging areas. Each route includes: detailed directions to trailheads, colour maps and photographs, seasonal information, round-trip distances, trail commentary, and difficulty ratings, plus step-by-step directions. 

“One that is more on the adventurous side is Kennedy Falls,” said Crerar. “It’s becoming more popular but it is still a bit of a hidden gem. Many people are aware of the old logging camp which is half way along between the tree and the falls. It is a good way to explore some of Lynn Valley’s history. Of course, there is the falls itself to explore and a giant old growth tree that is a nice resting spot.”

WIth a bit more family time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, now is a great time to get outside, he said. 

“Hiking is a great way to destress and enjoy some family bonding time without being trapped in the house 24/7,” said Crerar. “The important thing is to stay six feet from others but the North Shore has lots of wider trails where you can do that. Also do your research, Provincial Parks are closed [Ed. Openings will be limited as of May 14, not in the Lower Mainland]. Most of these trails aren’t in Provincial Parks and are still open.”

Family Walks and Hikes on Greater Vancouver’s North Shore is available at your favourite book shop or online retailer.  


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Isolation adventures in Upper Lynn

In the weeks prior to the covid-19 pandemic call to stay home and stay safe, Lynn Valley’s Paul Dixon was putting many kilometres on his car, traversing the Lower Mainland photographing whatever piqued his interest. That all stopped March 20. 


Stay close to home


Retired almost two decades from his main career in municipal government, Dixon is now a freelance writer and photographer. Choosing to focus on projects that suit his passions gives him adventures near and far.  

“I was a professional wanderer,” he says. “I couldn’t make myself stay home, why would I? If it’s a beautiful day and I am gone.”

With a check of his notes, Dixon lists March trips criss crossing the Vancouver-area and beyond with his cameras. There were numerous stops in Ambleside and Burnaby Lake, but also Port Coquitlam, White Rock, the Rifle Bird Sanctuary in Delta, Harrison Mills and plenty more. He also has a clear date when that all changed. 

“I got a flicker on a neighbour’s chimney, and that is as far as I have been with my camera since March 20,” he says. “I am out on my back deck with a camera or one or two cameras  – doing my bit for society camped out at home. I put my feet up, with a book and a big glass of water and catch whatever comes.”


Backyard birds


The result has been a spontaneous collection of the life around his Upper Lynn home – much of it shared online. It’s an interesting reflection of life for everyone during the pandemic. With the request by local authorities to stay home, he was forced to reframe his interests – and their footprint. Since the pandemic began he has been delighting locals online with his beautiful wildlife images, all taken in his yard. 

Stellar’s Jay

“Now I am having just as good a time sitting on the back steps,” says Dixon. “I think that the past six weeks has been an opportunity to look at the world I’ve lived in up here in Lynn Valley though a slightly different perspective.” 

Claiming not to be a “birder” with a bucket list, Dixon does enjoy clicking things that fly from birds to planes. His current work is fitting in well with his passions. 

Conscious of wildlife beyond birds in his yard, Dixon forewent birder feeders for 15 years, concerned they lure bears and other creatures into the yard. With an eye to black bear foraging season he has temporarily added some to the yard. 

“It’s interesting to see some birds are attracted to the feeders but for the most part they aren’t interested in them. They take care of themselves. They pop in and pop out. It’s just fleeting glances.”

His patience has captured everything from the small – stunning hummingbirds to high drama – pigeon versus squirrel. 

The weather was generally pretty good and that gave me the opportunity to watch as the flowers started to bloom and it seemed that every day there was something new to see. Small details perhaps, but different from the day before. Some of the birds like the Juncos are here every day, while others like the Bushtits and Kinglets are infrequent visitors.”


Embracing the tools


Dixon’s own love of photography has evolved over time. He recalls his first photo was a squirrel in Stanley Park at 10 years old. But it was the transition from film to digital photography, coupled with “retirement” that stoked his enthusiasm. 

“It’s an interest in the world around me – things I see, that maybe others do not,” he says. “The ones I like are the ones that I don’t know I have taken. When you sit down later and discover a great one.”

It doesn’t take a lot to get started in photography, says Dixon. A bit of equipment and time in the saddle will get you off to a good start.   

“The camera is a tool, I will encounter serious photographers with really nice cameras taking one picture, two pictures and waiting for the perfect picture,” he says. “But with a decent digital camera set up and a high frame rate and a bit of understanding of exposure and light, let the camera work for you. Take lots of pictures and you will get some stunning shots.

I’ve got a decent camera and it takes decent photos. Can’t ask for much more than that. It’s also really important that you know what you like in terms of the results you’re looking for. I’ve got a friend who’s got the same equipment as I do – same camera body and same lens. We’ll go out for a day, shoot a zillion photos and end up with two very different ‘looks’ for the day.”

It has taken him a bit longer to get onboard with the camera most of us have. It gives an easy opportunity to dabble in photography. 

“I don’t often go somewhere without my camera but it took me a while to realize, I always have a camera – a 12mp camera or something on my phone and I have gotten some really good pictures – even sold some.” 

With the ask to stay close to home, covid-19 is a chance to dabble in something new. There aren’t any big secrets to photography, he says. Dixon offers two simple pieces of advice:

“You can’t do this with a subject that doesn’t interest you” and “Take lots of pictures – don’t get hung up on one or two.”

All images are courtesy of Paul Dixon. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Kindness rocks

There are bright spots popping up all over Lynn Valley – and we aren’t talking flowers. Never have there ever been so many painted rocks brightening gardens.


Sparking joy and taking care of Mother Earth


A rock on Beaver Trail in Lynn Canyon.

The painted rocks are bringing smiles to many people. There are local painted rock Facebook groups like this one and a Vancouver mom has written a book specifically on Covid-19 and painted rocks. The Kindness Rocks movement is sweeping Lynn Valley and the rest of the world as people look for creative outlets in isolation. 

The phenomena has been building for a number of years. In some places and parks the rocks are becoming an environmental risk. This was the very issue raised by one resident of Lynn Valley with so many new rocks dotting forest trails.


Best practices for making smiles


Lynn Valley garden rocks.

We reached out to the District of North Vancouver for some guidance on best practices to keep up with the positivity while also considering our local creeks and forests. Generally any time you are out enjoying the forest it is best to maintain a leave-no-trace mindset. The idea is to pack out everything you take in (garbage, dog poop, etc.). Some parks limit access to garbage cans to encourage people to take their garbage out of the part completely. Leave-no-trace also holds to leaving the environment as you found it – leaving rocks in place (not stacking, which can lead to erosion).

Painting rocks is a fun activity that encourages creativity and brightens everyone’s day,” said Courtenay Rennard, communications coordinator for the District of North Vancouver. “When possible, we encourage people to place painted rocks near their homes or local neighbourhoods.” 

The District offered these further tips to keep up fun and protect our parks and waterways: 

  • Use non-toxic paint
  •  Do not take rocks from in or around streams to avoid disturbing our local fish and other aquatic organisms
  •  Do not place painted rocks near streams, as the paint could wear off and end up in waterways
  • Keep rocks in your garden and neighbourhood

Giving back to community builders

Supporting our community’s local businesses throughout the COVID-19 outbreak is very important, how can you help?


Time to think and act local


Many small businesses in Lynn Valley are suffering during these difficult times, and it is time to look out and support the members of our community. You may think that it is hard to support a business from the comfort of your own home, although it may be easier than you think. If the community works together to help our local businesses. There are many ways that you can help, some examples include purchasing gift certificates or utilizing delivery services.

These are the same businesses that donate to our schools, teams, churches and community groups. They invest in the success of Lynn Valley year in and year out. Now is the time to go a but further and help them out.


Nourish Market


Nourish Market in Lynn Valley Village is still thriving. They have physical distance practices in place and are still getting their supply of quality organic produce. This is a great way to support local – with restaurants closed many local organic producers have lost a huge portion of their sales, but it’s a win for small markets like Nourish.

They are also a much closer place to collect from local bakery Bad Dog Bread and Two Rivers Meats. No need to hop in the car, get them at Nourish.

Plus they are now offering grocery delivery for Lynn Valley – call them at (778) 340-4030. Their pandemic hours are 10am-5pm.


Westlynn Bakery


Westlynn Bakery is fighting the COVID-19 crisis on two fronts. The family-run business at Lynn Valley Centre is trying to stay afloat with Paul hard at work in the bakery and Lisa on the frontlines as a registered nurse at VGH – even their kids are helping with deliveries. If there was ever a time to invest in this neighbourhood institution, now is probably it. Westlynn is now offering telephone orders for easy pick up and deliveries.

Westlynn has delivery hours Monday-Saturday afternoons if you cannot make it into store, please call 604-985-1622 or email westlynnbakery2014@gmail.com to place your orders.  Order before 2pm for the NEXT day delivery.

PAYMENT OPTIONS-

  1. Card reader, allows you to pay (tap) at drop off.
  2. Correct cash payment will be accepted at drop off.
  3. You can call Bakery and pay over the phone with credit card.

ORDER & DELIVERY DETAILS

Please, include contact details – name, address and telephone with orders. They can email you the receipt prior to drop off if you leave email addresses, also continue with your loyalty program (if you are signed up).

Please, on some products will sell frozen or freshly baked, see this PDF product list  and be specific with orders.

All bread is sliced, UNLESS, you REQUEST UNSLICED.

Free delivery for orders over $25. There is a small $4 charge for orders under $25

Friendly reminder: They will package in plastic bag, but some breads will soften, like the Turkish, Ciabatta and Focaccia. If you prefer your bread in paper, let them know.


Tommy’s Cafe


Lynn Valley’s iconic brunch spot Tommy’s Cafe,  located on Ross Road is closed currently. They are working towards selling gift cards online in order to keep business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit their website https://www.tommyscafenorthshore.com for updates on their status. You can also phone and leave a message requesting information about gift cards. 


Yama Sushi


 

Yama Sushi is a local sushi restaurant located in the strip mall across the street from the Lynn Valley McDonald’s drive-thru. They are still open for business but are currently not seating customers, only fulfilling takeout and pickup orders. Their current hours have slightly shifted to 11:30 am-9 pm from Monday to Saturday and 12 pm-9 pm on Sundays. Their menu can be found on their website www.yamasushi.ca. If you are able to pick up, you can grab gift cards at the restaurant that do not expire. This helps out Yama Sushi immensely. The community could help out tremendously by ordering food from the restaurant and buying gift cards. 


More to come


If you would like to include your business give us a shout – we would love to add your details to this list. Please email us.

1) Business name
2) Optional – Business type,if you think people might not be familiar with your business
3) Website, contact info and current hours and type of hours (in store, pickup, delivery)
4) Any changes to services being offered (reduced menu? New delivery? Curbside pickup)
5) How to order? If you have a PDF of the menu/services being offered, Email it and we can post it.
6) Are there new services? Like, purchasing gift cards for use later?
7) How can the community best support your business right now?


Special contribution


Special thanks to guest contributors, Argyle Secondary students:

Alex Bulbrook


Sarah Johnstone

Pollinator power

Garden centres are buzzing with homeowners with free time, excellent weather and nowhere to go. Now is the time to think about what kind of garden you’d like and who you want visiting this summer. Creating pollinator habitats is a creative way the community can do something together while we are forced to stay a part. 


Butterfly Rangers


Fromme Road Butterfly Ranger garden.

The District of North Vancouver has been a powerful partner for the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project. It has been an ongoing Project in the district since 2018.

“Right now we have 15 new Butterfly Rangers,” said Winnie Hwo, David Suzuki Foundation’s senior public engagement specialist and local lead for the program. “The North Shore rangers are the best!”

With the addition of 15, there are now 38 throughout the District of North Vancouver, with homes on Wellington and Fromme participating as well as the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. The program is active throughout the Lower Mainland focusing on DNV, Richmond and Vancouver. Their mission is to plant native wildflowers in yards, schoolyards, streets and parks to support local bees and butterflies. Their goal was to establish local “Butterflyways” by planting at least a dozen pollinator patches in each neighbourhood. 

“Environmentally we hear about some big problems, but there is this idea that citizens can make a huge difference if we get ourselves together,” said Hwo. “We think with focused tasks citizens can be part of the solution to support biodiversity.”

The Butterflyway Project focuses on wild bees and butterflies. Official rangers are supported with training, virtual meetings and a few plants. 

“Pollinators help make our food and we know they are in trouble. We have used too much land, we use too many pesticides. Their lives are getting more difficult,” said Hwo.  “Butterflies are the great ambassadors. If people plant for butterflies it benefits bees. A lot of the flowers that butterflies fly on are the same flowers bees fly on.”


Making your garden butterfly and bee friendly.


With applications closed for official rangers for the year (mark your calendars for January next year to apply), there are lots ways you can get involved to make your garden more pollinator friendly. It begins in the fall. 

“A messy yard – an organized mess – benefits pollinators,” said Hwo. “Pollinators lay eggs on leaves – especially if you are planting the pollinator plants. We don’t want to disrupt their life cycle and ecosystem. When leaves drop there are little lives growing on them.”

Leaving leaves on the ground until spring and gently gathering into piles can be an ideal way to support pollinators. 

“Leaf blowers are like a tsunami – nothing is left. Raking into piles will have little disruption and leaving it for organisms to grow will be hugely beneficial for butterflies and their lifecycle.”

For our climate the Butterflyways Project recommends 12 plants, in this handy PDF from the David Suzuki Foundation:

  • Common Camas – Camassia quamash

    Virginia strawberry

  • Goldenrod – Solidago multiradiata
  • Pearly Everlasting – Anaphalis margaritacea
  • Pacific Bleeding Heart – Dicentra formosa
  • Nodding Onion – Allium cernuum
  • Coastal Kinnikinnick – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
  • Virginia Strawberry – Fragaria virginiana
  • Western Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
  • Douglas Aster – Aster subspicatus
  • Salal – Gaultheria shallon
  • Hardhack – Spiraea douglasii
  • Ocean Spray – Holodiscus discolor

Other tips from the DVF:

  • Host plants: Adults need a place to lay eggs where their caterpillars will forage. (Plant species that will get eaten and not just look pretty!)
  • Mud puddles: Some butterflies rarely visit flowers. They prefer mud, poop (a.k.a. “scat” or “dung”), sap and rotting fruit.
  • Blooms from spring through fall: Don’t limit your garden to an end-of-July colour extravaganza. You’ll need a diversity of native nectar plants to flower over a few months.
  • Overwintering habitat: Consider not raking leaves to provide a butterfly nursery! Most butterflies in Canada overwinter as caterpillars, others as pupae. A few species winter as adults, hibernating in hollow trees, under bark and firewood piles, or in garden shed cracks and crevices.  ew spend winter as eggs.
  • Sunshine: Make sure you (or your neighbours) have sunny spots.
  • Nectar plants: Most butterflies will feed from more than a few plant species

Learning more


The DNV is home to a special part of the Butterfly Project. Off of Dollarton there is a particular neighbourhood embracing the concept, culminating in the Butterfly Lane, led by Stephen Deedes-Vincke and Sally Hocking. Check it out on Google Maps or visit.

Join iNaturalist’s Butterflies in My Backyard observation collaboration – another project supported by Deedes-Vinvke. Download the app and help track Lynn Valley and North Vancouver’s biodiversity.  

The Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre is hosting online gardening workshops through April and May. Nothing specific to pollinators, but lots of great gardening topics. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Finding HOPE in Lynn Valley

Walking down the street you might find some hope on Wellington Drive.


Family tradition


There is a house mid-way down the block that is always decked out for holidays. 

For decades the Tindales have been celebrating Christmas and Halloween with home and yard displays, but in the last few years, daughter Jennifer has stepped up their holiday game in a big way. 

“I have such great memories as a kid of how my family celebrated holidays. We keep adding and adding. In 2017 I started with all the plywood displays. Last year was the biggest but we are reaching a point we almost need a shed to store all of this,” laughs Tindale, 43. 

The displays mean more to Tindale than just giving her parents a great yard. She has been unable to work as a result of a workplace injury and its resulting condition. 

“Doing these displays is part of my mental health therapy,” she said. 


Giving hope


The thought and work on the displays goes on almost all year round. Preparation for Christmas 2020 was already well underway as the COVID-19 situation moved towards North Vancouver. 

“I was out in the backyard already cutting for next year and I had this sign already done and waiting at my home,” said Tindale. “It is my little piece of putting the spirit out there. This is hope for everything going on now. It’s my passion doing these displays but it is also a nod to the HoPE Centre.”

The Greta and Robert H.N. HO Psychiatry & Education Centre, (The HOpe Centre) at Lions Gate Hospital was opened in 2014. It brings together both inpatient and outpatient mental health services under one roof and also houses both the Djavad Mowafaghian UBC Medical Education Centre and is a permanent home for BC Ambulance. Tindale is both a patient and supporter of the centre. 

“The displays give me purpose,” she said. “I am tied to this community. It’s where I was born, grew up and went to school. It’s so special on our street, there are people I went to school with that are now buying their parents homes and raising their kids here. So they grew up with our family being into holidays and now they get to experience it with their kids.” 

The seasonal displays at the Tindale home kicked off a trend much of Wellington Road has embraced. With the Dovercourt Crypt around the corner the area has become the destination for Halloween in Lynn Valley. 

“There is so much appreciation from the kids and parents too – it gets me emotional thinking about. Last year we had 360 kids come by. It warms my heart. Every year, the kids can pick out what I have added. They bring their friends who don’t live here and show them.” 


Win-win


Laughing, Tindale shared she wanted to embrace the nationwide trend of putting out Christmas lights to bring some sparkle to Lynn Valley during this state of emergency but her parents weren’t on board. It was too big a job to tackle right now.

“In the times of what are going on right now, people are drawing together. Really it’s the simple memories of family and community that will get us through,” she said. 

The large letters of HOPE, with its double meaning of supporting mental health and community spirit are having the impact Tindale wanted.  

“People have gotten emotional when they see it. People have shared this is what they think this community needs,” said Tindale. “ I appreciate how the community as a whole is stepping up with what they are good at. Small businesses are trying to get creative to stay in business. 

“ It’s a sign of me being me. This is something I could offer our street, our neighbourhood.” 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Lynn Valley electrified

If you are still driving in Lynn Valley and managing to avoid road closures, construction delays and the chaos of the Lynn Valley Centre parking lot, you may have noticed a smaller project underway at the corner of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway. Petro Canada has selected Lynn Valley for a new electric charging station.


One of four


The new “Electric Highway” will eventually stretch from coast to coast. Currently there are four stations planned for the Lower Mainland. Two are operational in Langley and Abbotsford, and two more in the works – one in downtown Vancouver and one in Lynn Valley. We reached out to Petro Canada for more information and opening dates but they chose not to respond to LynnValleyLife.

The project is bringing a fast charge station with both the CCS and CHAdeMO connectors with the capacity to charge most vehicles in under 30 minutes. 

From Victoria, B.C. to Stewiacke, N.S., electric vehicle drivers have access to 50 locations along the Trans-Canada Highway. The initiative is supported by $4.6 million in funding from the federal government Electric Vehicle and Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Deployment Initiative. 


BC hotbed for EVs


B.C. leads the way in Canada for the shift to electric vehicles. There are already over 30,000 electric vehicles on the road and over 1,000 public charging stations. The push in B.C. for electric vehicles is supported by B.C.’s supply of clean energy. More than 95 percent of B.C.’s electricity is from clean sources (unlike many jurisdictions which burn fossil fuels for electricity).

In 2018, there were 44,000 zero-emission vehicles sold in Canada. Double the sales of 2017. It works out to less than one percent of vehicles on the road nationally and just under two percent in B.C.  For the year 2018, in British Columbia, Tesla made up the largest block of zero-emission vehicles sold at 2,500, followed by the Nissan Leaf at 1,019 and the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid at just under 1,000.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.