Visions of the valley await your voices and views

There was quite a buzz around the boards set up near the Lynn Valley Mall centre court today, as district planners toured visitors around several graphic displays that gave glimpses into the future of Lynn Valley Town Centre.

Since the Official Community Plan was approved last June, planners have been hard at work developing implementation plans for different town centre sites around the district. For more information about the process, and the tools that will help you contribute your own views about the latest proposals, visit the purpose-built District website, here.

The Lynn Valley plan calls for a variety of housing, street-level storefront shopping plazas, community amenities (an arts facility of some sort is under discussion, for example), parkland features and pedestrian/cycle-friendly trail networks. It promises walkers protection from our infamous local rainfall – and even a ‘rain garden’! It’s quite a change from the current town centre layout, and gives residents plenty to ponder.

If you want to give an opinion, now’s the time – don’t leave it until the last minute. If you want to shape the future, you have to pay attention to the present! The Open House will continue at the mall tomorrow (Sunday, April 29), and in the LV Village Community Room on Tuesday afternoon (1 – 6 p.m.) and at Karen Magnussen Wednesday from 1 – 8:30 p.m.

To view the displays online, go here; to fill out a “report card” with your thoughts (which can be saved or printed), check in here.

 

Recycling depots close at hand

Lynn Valley is an excellent place to live if you’re an environmentalist. Sure, we have lots of trees. But did you know we’re also particularly well-situated when it comes to recycling drop-off depots?

We’re a hop, skip and a jump from North Van District’s recycling depot located across from the transfer station on Riverside, where you can drop off large quantities of our curbside recyclables and purchase subsidized bins for backyard composting.

We’re even closer to two other handy depots – the WCS Recycling Depot on the corner of Mountain Highway and Dominion Road, and the Encorp Depot across from Park and Tilford at 310 Brooksbank.

WCS will accept a wide range of non-curbside recyclables, six days a week, for a small drop-off fee.  Check their website for accepted materials, as well information on their prepaid ‘red bag program,’ which gives locals a convenient way to stockpile their Styrofoam, plastic bags, gable-top cartons, laminate foil and non-blue box plastics in between depot trips.

Encorp is a busy drop-off point for beverage containers, but also accepts electronics and small household appliances.

And a number of charities, such as the Developmental Disabilities Association and Big Brothers, will come to your home to pick up clothing and small household goods for re-sale. Call Big Brothers at 604-526-2447 or email pickup@renewcrew.com; Developmental Disabilities can be reached at 604-273-4DDA.

Wondering where to recycle other household items? Check out this complete recycling listing, courtesy of the North Shore Recycling Program.

District workers are up the creek

FROM THE EDITOR: It’s always been easy to be impressed by Lynn Valley’s trees; after all, the world’s tallest fir – measuring 417 feet high and 77 feet around – was documented here in 1875. But for the next few months at least, it’s Lynn Valley’s streams that will be in the spotlight, thanks to a project being launched by North Vancouver District.

Most of Lynn Valley drains into the 23-km Hastings Creek, which springs from the east slope of Grouse Mountain and lets out into Lynn Creek near Hoskins and Arborlynn.

Hastings Creek and its tributaries (including Thames Creek) played a huge role in Lynn Valley’s early logging days, allowing for mill ponds and the rushing water that carried shingle bolts down the area’s infamous log flumes.

Hastings Creek Bridge over Lynn Valley Road.

But damming and later urban development took its toll on the creek, and – now that the Official Community Plan has passed and set out a framework for the future – North Van District is doing an in-depth study of the waterways to determine how local streams can be protected or enhanced.

According to Rjchard Boase, NVD Environmental Protection Officer, creeks “tend to suffer dramatically from the cumulative effects of many small infringements.” The District has contracted with environmental and engineering consultants who will walk the streams to check the stability and composition of their banks, log what natural species are present (or notable for their absence), take photos, and assess drainage infrastructure.

Since so many Lynn Valley homeowners have streams running near or through their property, the District wants to alert residents to the project, as they will no doubt see the researchers in action (they will be carrying identification). The work will start at the end of January, and likely wrap up by April 30. Results will be presented to the public in June.

There have already been many improvements made to the health of Hastings Creek since various restoration projects began in the late 1970s with the installation of a fish ladder near the mouth of the creek. Today, after the addition of more ladders and many environmental and fisheries projects undertaken by everyone from the North Shore Streamkeepers to school children, Boase says the fish population is alive and vital.

Coho salmon, he reports, travel Hastings Creek up to and including Hunter Park, while resident trout are also active above that section and into Twin Lakes.

While the municipal government will be looking at ways to further protect our local waterways, there is plenty that homeowners can be doing to ensure the health of the Hastings Creek watershed.

For information on development restrictions around streams, click here. Or visit this site for a number of lawn, garden, automotive and other household tips that help ensure clean waterways.

And to learn more about the Hastings Creek Watershed Management Plan initiative, click here or call North Vancouver District’s Engineering or Environmental Department at 604-990-2450.

 – Peggy Trendell-Jensen