Today we drove out to Riverview (years ago it used to be called Essondale) to view a remarkable collection of non-native trees. In 1904 1,000 acres of land were set aside for two purposes:
- A sanctuary and residential treatment facility for the mentally ill
- A site for a B.C. Botanical Garden
Over the years 200 acres were sold to developers to create Riverview Heights and in the 1990’s Colony Farm (600 acres) became a GVRD Park. There is only 244 acres left for the patients. In 1925 the botanical gardens were moved to UBC but the trees were left behind. These were cared for and are now an unknown legacy for everyone.
One can write and describe experiences one has. To truly understand the beauty and the heritage that is available to everyone you need to take a walk amongst these silent giants. There are leaves and barks of trees that you will never have seen before. They stand as stately giants on the gentle slopes of this sanctuary. It truly is a peaceful setting that is medicine to the soul.
For more information on how we can keep this pristine site for its orignial two purposes visit The Riverview Horticulture Centre Society.