Redwood Park in Surrey British Columbia Canada

Redwood-Park-in-Surrey-British-Columbia-Canada

The Story behind the Sierra Redwoods in Surrey BC Canada

How the passion of twin brothers left a legacy of exotic trees and Sierra Redwoods for all to enjoy

Redwood Park in Surrey Canada seems to pose a question simply by its existence.  What are giant redwoods doing in the lower mainland of British Columbia? Although Surrey now has a population of nearly 500,000 people, for many years it was a farming community with a much smaller population.  As a matter of fact there are still farms near Redwood Park. Therefore not a place where you would expect to find a grove of redwoods.

A bit of History

Signage at the entrance of the park mentions the Brown Brothers and shows a picture of the treehouse that is further along in the park. I did a bit of searching and found out that their father, David Brown Senior, settled in part of Surrey BC known as the Hazelmere Valley in 1878. His twin boys, Peter and David were both deaf, perhaps from a childhood illness. When they turned 21 years old, their father gifted them each with forty acres. The land had previously been logged and was ready for farming. However, the brothers wanted to replant the land they had been given.  With this in mind, their adventures took them all over the world. They returned with and planted various species of exotic trees. Eventually they lived on the land that is now known as Redwood Park. One brother died in 1949, and the other in 1958.

Redwood Park signage in Surrey British Columbia Canada. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
House in the forest, reminding us of the Brown brothers. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

 History of Redwood Park (as shown on the sign beside the treehouse)

"Redwood Park was originally owned by twin brothers, Peter and David Brown, who came to the Hazelmere Valley in 1878. They lived here from 1893 until 1958. Their love of trees resulted in the planting and raising of some 32 species from Europe, Asia and North America, including the beautiful grove of redwoods, for which the park is named.

"After two previous homes were destroyed by fire, the brothers built and lived in a tree house which was reached by means of a ramp. By 1986 the original house had become unstable and was removed. The building that now stands on the site, although different in design, is a reminder of the Brown Brothers lifestyle. The trees and the native flora that make up Redwood Park are a living memorial to the pioneer Brown family." Surrey Parks & Recreation

Trees from Europe, Asia and North America

One sign in Redwood Park notes that there are 50 species of trees in the collection, including six groves. Another sign says the Brown brothers planted and raised 32 species including the grove of redwoods. Therefore I'm left to conclude that the collection has grown over the years. The grove of Giant Sequoia (redwoods) is the largest north of the 49th parallel. Specifically, just a few of the species I noted were Western Red Cedar, European Ash, Douglas Fir, Incense Cedar, Cedar of Lebanon, Katsura, Monkey Puzzle, Red Oak, Scots Pine, Nordmann Fir, and Paper Birch. Certainly it could be a challenge for a visitor to identify and list the wide variety of trees in this park. 

Identifying Trees is Easy in Redwood Park

Surrey Parks & Recreation has made it very easy to identify the species within the park. For the purpose of identification, some trees have a sign telling us the name. Then, as you compare another tree's bark and leaves with the previous tree, the learning process starts. In order to allow unobstructed tree growth, the signs are attached to an expandable coil. 

Closeup of the bark of a Giant Sequoia (Redwood). Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Incense Cedar and park bench. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Grove of Redwoods which gave Redwood Park its name. Photo by Diana Mohrsen
Cedar of Lebanon. Photo by Diana Mohrsen

Over 5 kilometres of Trails and Open Green Spaces

Most of the trails in Redwood Park are very accessible by design. Because of this I often see mothers with strollers. As well, I see dog walkers, joggers and those, like me, trying to capture the essence with my camera. It is so peaceful to walk among the huge trees, listening to bird song and the chatter of squirrels. There are large open areas, mowed, that allow visitors to choose how to spend their time. Walk. Contemplate. Read. Picnic. 

Picnic Areas and Room to Gather 

At Redwood Park in Surrey BC, there are 4 sheltered picnic areas suitable for group gatherings. As well there are individual picnic tables. Or, if you choose, you can bring a blanket and set your picnic out on the mowed green space. Families with children can gather around the playground area. 

Space to Play Summer and Winter

There are several playground structures including a wheelchair-accessible playground. The park is open from dusk to dawn. The grassy open areas invite play. For example, have a game of catch. Set up your volleyball net. Put a blanket on the ground and relax with a book. Even in winter this park is inviting.  By all means bring your sleds and enjoy some winter fun. 

How to Describe Redwood Park

Redwood Park has been described as peaceful, magical, enchanted, or spectacular. For me, it is these things and more. I am aware that every tree was once a seedling, planted by two brothers who were unable to hear the rustling of the wind through the leaves. Yet, because of them and their love of trees, today I can stand in this space and feel grateful for their lives and for their unusual hobby.

Redwood Park in Surrey BC Canada 

Come explore Redwood Park

Location (Map)

Redwood Park, 17900 20 Ave, Surrey, BC V3S 9V2, Canada
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Comments 10

Cora Lee Rennie on Saturday, 06 May 2023 16:27

Redwood Park looks so beautiful. I can really appreciate all of those beautiful ancient trees. Great nature break! Love all of your park adventures Diana and very nice article!

Redwood Park looks so beautiful. I can really appreciate all of those beautiful ancient trees. Great nature break! Love all of your park adventures Diana and very nice article!
Diana Mohrsen on Sunday, 07 May 2023 22:05

Thanks Cora Lee. The trees are amazing. Being outside always refreshes!

Thanks Cora Lee. The trees are amazing. Being outside always refreshes!
Diana Mohrsen on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 06:03

I'm finding friends here in Surrey who have never been to Redwood Park yet. I'm surprised!

I'm finding friends here in Surrey who have never been to Redwood Park yet. I'm surprised!
Kim Kenyon on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 15:11

Wonderful photos and story Diana! I had no knowledge of this park either so thank you so much for sharing!

Wonderful photos and story Diana! I had no knowledge of this park either so thank you so much for sharing!
Diana Mohrsen on Friday, 12 May 2023 01:13

Thank you, Kim. If you've over this way, I'd be glad to show it to you.

Thank you, Kim. If you've over this way, I'd be glad to show it to you.
Diana Mohrsen on Sunday, 14 May 2023 01:56

I can't imagine how it would be to live hearing impaired back in the early 1900's.

I can't imagine how it would be to live hearing impaired back in the early 1900's.
EH Canada Marketing Group on Sunday, 14 May 2023 16:36

Great info on the history of this park. Love trees. Need more of them.

Great info on the history of this park. Love trees. Need more of them.
Diana Mohrsen on Monday, 22 May 2023 04:04

EH Canada Marketing Group Thanks! These trees are majestic!

EH Canada Marketing Group Thanks! These trees are majestic!
Andrea Horning on Tuesday, 23 May 2023 14:26

What an awesome story of how this came to be! Thanks for sharing!

What an awesome story of how this came to be! Thanks for sharing!
Diana Mohrsen on Sunday, 28 May 2023 05:43

Thanks, Andrea. I've learned that three other parks in Surrey were created by individuals and then donated to the city. More on that later.

Thanks, Andrea. I've learned that three other parks in Surrey were created by individuals and then donated to the city. More on that later.
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