18 September 2009

And a little more on the Hollow Tree

Letter of the week
Vancouver Courier
Friday, September 18, 2009

To the editor:
Re: "Filmmaker branches out with Hollow Tree doc," Sept. 11

I've been following the fate of our famed Hollow Tree in Stanley Park and after reading Cheryl Rossi's article in last week's Courier I had to write in to suggest she may have spent more time and energy presenting the point of view of park board commissioner Stuart Mackinnon and less time backing Ontario native Dan Pierce who knew absolutely nothing about the tree and had never actually visited the tree until a short time ago. In the four short years Mr. Pierce has lived in Vancouver he'd never taken the time to go see the tree and now he's taken on this huge crusade to save her.

Save her from what? From naturally decomposing into our earth and sprouting new trees and bushes from her fallen trunk?

I've enjoyed that tree many times with my parents when I was young, and with my children as a parent and with friends who visit Vancouver. I can speak of the generations that have enjoyed it. Dan Pierce can't. He did his research on the tree on the Internet to try and understand its history and importance to our city.

And since all this started, we've had the unpleasant experience of having a little parking lot closed completely with ugly blue construction fencing while the workers slowly and methodically demoralize this tree with chains, cables and steel beams. It's truly sad to see her dignity being stripped away bit by bit as her lifeless carcass is suspended in a RoBo Tree state.

That tree has lived through many generations and I agree with Mackinnon that we should allow her to lie down in peace with her brothers and sisters in our magnificent park.

The ironic part of this is that only 100 yards away on the trail leading from that closed parking lot is the fallen trunk of the what was the oldest western cedar in Stanley Park that was once profiled by the National Geographic Society. It fell down less than two years ago and is a magnificent sight to see as it lays there split in two, providing life to many more forms of vegetation. Sadly, no one can park anywhere close to this trail now to take that short jaunt to go see it. Maybe Mr. Pierce will take that stroll in the next four years or so?

Ken Read,

© Vancouver Courier 2009

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