Godwin Farm Biodiversity Preserve
Check out this beautiful natural area park that was gifted to the City of Surrey.
City parks are open for casual use. To minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission, stay home when sick, stay 2 metres apart, do not gather in groups, and wear a mask in crowded spaces. Spectators for outdoor sports are not permitted as per new public health orders.
Due to environmental sensitivities there are no dogs permitted on or off-leash in this park.
Dawn until dusk.
See towering trees, beautiful birds, and explore the rich history of the Godwin Biodiversity Preserve. To help preserve this unique park, no dogs are permitted. Don't want to leave your pooch at home? There are off-leash dog parks nearby at Freedom off-leash area or at Tynehead Regional Park for you to enjoy.
Please note that the parking lot for this park is only open on weekends and stat holidays over the winter, and will switch to be open 7 days a week starting April 1, 2021.
Check out hundreds of trees including some rare varieties and a registered heritage tree that is 175 feet tall. If you're interested in seeing animals, the pond in this park is home to a variety of bird life.
Explore the great old field habitat, an old fruit tree garden with apples, blueberries, and figs, and walk along the looping nature trails. Take a peek at the sensitive riparian areas protecting E Creek that flows north to the Serpentine River.
The park was acquired in 2015 through the Federal Eco-gifting program. The Godwin Family donated this land to the City so that it will be protected in perpetuity as a legacy for the Godwin family. Over the years they planted hundreds of Sequoias, Redwoods, Firs and many other species.
There are interpretive signs in the park with more information about the Godwin family and the importance of these lands as a unique natural area. A management plan was created in keeping with the conditions of the eco-gifting and will be managed as a natural park by the City of Surrey.
Pop-Up Park Walk
Start in the parking lot and follow along on the map.
This 26-acre park was donated by the Godwin family to the City of Surrey in 2015. The park is rich in both biodiversity (the variety of life on Earth) and heritage and is managed to protect its unique assets. For this reason, no dogs are permitted in this park. Enjoy learning a little more about this special place on your walk today.
1 Heritage Douglas-fir Tree
Look just over the fence for a plaque on a rock, then about 20m beyond for a 175-ft-tall Douglas-fir tree, a designated heritage tree over 180 years old. Being close to the property line, it appears this tree was overlooked when this and adjacent properties were logged in the early 1900s. Despite being older than Canada, this tree is still young as Douglas-fir trees can live 500-1000 years!
2 E Creek
Stop and listen: can you hear the gurgle of E Creek just to your right? E Creek is a tributary of the Serpentine River and was the first location of what later became the Tynehead Hatchery. The Godwins worked together with community volunteers and North Surrey Secondary School students to manage the hatchery. Today, E Creek still sustains chum and coho salmon; adults swim up from the ocean to lay eggs each fall, and juveniles (or fry) hatch and swim out to the ocean each spring.
3 Barn Owl Box
BC’s barn owls, once plentiful in this area, are declining because of the of the loss of farmland and roosting sites (such as old buildings), rodent poison and road deaths. This meadow habitat is ideal for barn owls and so to help them, Surrey Parks recently erected this nesting box. Staff and local biologists are closely monitoring this box for owl use.
Barred owls are also commonly heard and seen in this park. Listen for their “Who cooks for you” call any time of the day.
This pond was once a summer swimming hole – complete with floating dock and zipline, and a winter skating rink for the Godwin family. It was even stocked with rainbow trout that the family fished. Today it’s home to waterfowl such as wood ducks, mallards, and Canadian geese; other birds such as tree swallows, warblers and waxwings; and smaller creatures such as dragonflies, damselflies and frogs. What can you see?
5 Nurse Stump
This stump is a reminder of the logging that occurred when the first pioneers arrived in Surrey in the early 1900s. Back then, it was common to cut down all the trees and clear away the rest for farming. You can still see the notches that loggers cut into the tree where they inserted boards to stand on while sawing. Today this stump has new plants growing on top of it. Even though this tree died a long time ago, it’s still helping to nourish these young plants by absorbing water and providing nutrients as its wood rots. For this reason, it is called a “nurse stump”.
6 Redwood Trees
The Godwin family planted over 10,000 trees here from the time they purchased this “stump farm” in 1969. Tom Godwin loved redwood trees and planted many of the three different varieties including coast redwood, dawn redwood and giant sequoia, which was Tom’s favourite and you can see here. The giant sequoia, by volume, is the largest living thing on Earth. Tom grew so many redwood trees that he ended up giving them away to neighbours and friends because he ran out of room to plant them; some have also been relocated to other parks in Surrey.
Enjoy this walk?
Looking for more outdoor adventures this spring? Visit surrey.ca/extravaganza for more activities like this one.