The birthplace of reforestation in B.C. got a facelift recently.
A building on the site of the Surrey Nature Centre was the first place in B.C. to grow seedlings to replace trees that had been logged throughout the province. The tree seedling nursery operated from the 1930s to 1999.
The building has been used for programming by the Surrey Nature Centre since 2008, but was largely unfinished until now, said Colleen Gillespie, environmental program co-ordinator for the City of Surrey.
"The building is such an important part of the story here, producing seedlings, it had such an impact on B.C." Gillespie said.
She said it was important to repurpose the old building because of the historical significance behind it.
"To reuse it creatively was important."
The building has been expanded from 1,944 square feet to 4,500, which took the space from two program rooms to four. Many school programs are taught there.
"The building is virtually unrecognizable," Gillespie said of the upgrades. "It looks like a brand new building."
The renovations included large windows and a skylight, allowing light to freely flow into the rooms.
Gillespie said the renovations bring "nature inside the building."
She added that because the majority of programming at the Surrey Nature Centre focuses on the forest and wildlife, it's nice to be able to sit in a room that allows you to look right out at nature.
"The focus here is really on the outdoor history and we didn't want the building to compete with that," she said.
"It's been exciting to take this historic building and give it new life."
See the new building for yourself at 14255 96th Ave. Currently, the only way to access the Surrey Nature Centre is from 96th Avenue.
PARTY FOR THE PLANET ACTIVITIES
The Surrey Nature Centre will be at Party for the Planet on April 27 and 28 at Central City Plaza in north Surrey with these hands-on nature discovery activities:
- Pond Peeking: Visitors can search for aquatic insects in pond water, try to identify them and learn about why they're so important.
- Nature's Nests: Visitors can try their hand at building a bird's nest and gain a new appreciation for the work of our feathered friends.
- Micro-Worlds: Visitors will look up close at natural objects with magnifying glasses and see things from a new perspective.