Monday, September 14, 2015

Tree Fest 2015


The Silver Lindens are nearly a century old. A family of elephants could shelter under the canopy of the tall Smooth-Leaf Elms.  For 22 years, Treefest has celebrated these and the hundreds of other remarkable trees as well as the historic buildings and landscapes of Riverview. 

Treefest will be held on Saturday, September 19th from 11 am to 4 pm.  It is hosted by the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society in partnership with the City of Coquitlam and the Burke Mountain Naturalists.

Treefest is a celebration of environmental stewardship. The day will be filled with family-oriented activities. The always popular arborist-led Tree Tours will be held on the hour; plus a Children’s Walk. Well-known Vancouver heritage consultant Donald Luxton will lead a tour of some of the Heritage Buildings (exterior only).  Blackberry Tea will be served in the Serenity Garden by Maple Creek Streamkeeper volunteers. The SPARC antique radio museum will be open for visitors, and the hosts of the History Bus Tours will offer insight and stories on Riverview/Essondale history. Bus seating is very limited and can be reserved with a $2 donation.

Since 1992 the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society has increased public awareness of the Riverview Lands in Coquitlam.  The Society’s goal has been to have the site preserved for its original purpose of supporting people with mental illness and to protect the Riverview landscape and collection of trees for horticultural education, retention of urban green space and public community uses. 

The future of Riverview is uncertain.  The public process conducted by BC Housing continued this year.  More information should be available in September.  Riverview has historically been a sanctuary for the mentally ill.  It is hoped that it can once again be a refuge for people living with mental illness. 

The Treefest site is outside the HenryEsson Young (“HEY”) Building, accessible from the Lougheed Highway at the Colony Farm Road or Orchid Drive entrances.  Banners and signs will mark the way and maps of the Riverview grounds are available online at
For more info visit Coquitlam Treefest   or call 604-927-3583 or 604-290-9910.

Donna Crosby, RHCS    
Phone 604-939-4064

Caresse Selk, City of Coquitlam
Phone 604-927-3583

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Open House #4 over and done with

My critique would be that the moderator should have moderated the questioning from the public much better. One public speaker actually was able to speak twice  ☹ 
As I expected none of the speakers wavered far away from the governments narrow position of the site must make at least enough money to balance the books. And sadly most of the public speakers had no questions or answers to the government's very narrow position of "break even"

       Sadly the buildings are rapidly deteriorating while all this rhetoric is going on, and if a decision is made to preserve many of the buildings, they will cost a small fortune to re purpose and restore.  No mention of other government departments has been forthcoming in wanting to use the site; actually I have no idea if the bureaucrats involved have been shopping the site around to the various departments.  Preferably health care in its many facets should be continued on the site since the buildings were designed and built with those goals in mind., 111 years the site has been used for health care, hopefully another 111 is in its future.

Riverview panel gets an earful   "Some amount of development is going to have to happen"

My answer to "Some amount of development is going to have to happen" is NO, actually if the existing buildings are restored they should generate more than enough income to "break even"; just have to find some long term stable rental, leasing arrangements with various health care groups. 

 Not impressed with the analogy of using East Lawn's rough restoration price of 30 million, and then trying to put that cost into building condos, apartments, etc to pay for it. What about just putting 30 million into a East Lawn conversion?  No mention of that; typical frontier mentality, knock everything down and start again.  Proper building restoration is becoming a lost art in British Columbia; need to get the technical schools involved on the site, and teach the new generations how to restore buildings properly.
Tired of hearing that these building do not meet today's seismic standards, many of these building have witnessed some good shakes through the years, and no damage was ever reported.  Cannot say that about newer buildings, since they have not been tested yet. 

I will hope that there is more information and opportunity to provide input to be placed upon the RenewingRiverview site soon.

The meeting is available on video:   Riverview Open House #4 - Panel Discussion    2:48:34
 Also view video clips from the prior Open Houses

Save the Riverview Hospital lands

The Riverview Hospital lands, are under pressure to be developed into market housing. Help to save the lands as a healing sanctuary for the mentally ill of OUR Province.

Please join the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society,( RHCS ) Facebook page. Twitter too!

Please sign the On-line petition or download a Word document petition ,which is a more official type of petition.
Blogs, about the hospital grounds
Mike Farnworth,MLA; Facebook forum " Protect the Riverview Lands"
And another Facebook group: Riverview Preservation Society
this group also has a petition to sign.

Click-able Map of the Riverview site

BISCO -- Brookside-Leeside-Roadside -- Centre Lawn -- Colony Farm
Crease Clinic -- East Lawn -- Essondale Hospital
Finnie's Garden -- Henry Esson Young -- Hillside unit
Home for the Aged-Valleyview -- North Lawn
Nurses homes -- Pennington Hall -- TreeFest -- West Lawn
John Davidson; "Botany John" blog. He was the first Provincial Botanist, who created British Columbia's first Botanical Garden at Riverview.
Other groups involved Riverview Horticultural Centre Society
Who also have a media NEWS Blog
You can also download a 42 page report titled, For the future of Riverview created by the Riverview Task Force.
Or Burke Mountain Naturalists, report: The Riverview Hospital Site, Respecting its Past,Realizing its Future
Coquitlam has designated the buildings and grounds, as a heritage site.
Download the Statement of Significance; SoS report PDF

Tour through the grounds

Paul Buikema, of Progress Landscaping, created this video.

Treefest 2011 slideshow

A slideshow of images from the Tree festival of 2011. Created in HD. Enjoy.

Riverview trees

Finnie's Garden -- slideshow

Finnie's Garden -- Pond restoration slideshow

TreeFest -- slideshow