Clark Park, Vancouver’s second oldest park, demonstrates climate change.


July 2, 2019

Walking up the hill to the grove, I breathed in the wonderful scent of cedar and fir, and felt the age of the trees. On Canada Day (July 1), Greg and I took Tom and Sugi to a park I had recently discovered while riding my bike.  Clark Park is the second oldest park in Vancouver (Stanley Park is the oldest), bordered by Commercial Drive on its east side, and sandwiched between 14th and 15th Avenues on its north and south boarders. It has a cleared areas for events, but more interestingly, it has a few of acres of old trees—cedar, fir, oak, chestnut, sequoia—on a hill gently sloping up to the east. Clark Park was donated to the Vancouver Park Board by E. J. Clark, and the trees there seem to be at least as old as the donation date of 1889. They are also some of the largest trees in the City.

We walked around the grove taking in the variety of planted trees, and the old-growth indigenous trees. I noticed a cedar at the edge of the Park that was brown compared to the green of the rest. This was a unhappy reminder of the imminent extinction of Western Red Cedars in the region. Climate change has created dryer conditions in BC, and this has resulted in large scale die-off of our beautiful native tree. Scientists say that this will be the species that will be first to disappear due to lack of moisture caused by global heating.

Make a trip to Clark Park to do some forest bathing, and to witness these large beauties. Also, next time you pass your neighborhood park, have a look at the condition of the cedars.

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Tips from scientists for addressing the climate emergency

“No flights, a four-day week and living off-grid… What changes have the experts made to their own lives to tackle the climate emergency?” The Guardian. June 29, 2019.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/29/no-flights-four-day-week-climate-scientists-home-save-planet

This is a great article that lists a number of climate scientists’ responses to the climate emergency. Recycling is great to reduce the amount of plastic pollution, but it does little to reduce one’s carbon footprint compared to going vegan and not flying.

This Guardian article from June 29, 2019, is an interview with climate scientists who have made changes in their lives to address what their research reveals about the climate crisis. The top actions are: stop flying; go vegan; generally reduce your consumption. The latter can be achieved by working a 4 day work-week which leads to a less intense working life, less stress, and less need to consume. Recycling is great to reduce the amount of plastic pollution, but it does little to reduce one’s carbon footprint compared to going vegan and not flying. One of the researchers relays the data “… eating a plant-based diet for one year saves over 150 times more greenhouse gases compared with a year of using a reusable shopping bag. And you would have to recycle everything in your household comprehensively for almost eight years to equal the greenhouse gas emissions saved by skipping just one round-trip flight from London to New York.

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