Sequoia benches transformation requires more time

Kerrisdale group waiting to repurpose beloved giant tree this fall

Rings in the Sequoia tree. Photo submitted by Terri Clark
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By Danauca Dory

One year after it was chopped down, a beloved century-old Kerrisdale sequoia tree now sits in storage at Magee Secondary School to be transformed into community benches by shop students.

The tree, which was removed in front of Shopper’s Drug Mart at Vine Street and West 41 Avenue, has to dry out before it can be turned into benches.

Key figures in the community, Terri Clark, Andrew Robinson and Mark Perry want to make sure the tree remains into the Kerrisdale community and hatched a plan to turn it into benches they hope to install along the Arbutus Greenway.

Clark, the Executive Director of the Kerrisdale Business Association, started the project after trying to keep the tree alive. The tree was estimated to be between 90 and 110 years old.

“It’s sad but we tried to make the best of it,” Clark said of the tree’s death.

As part of the Magee Design and Fabrication program, students from Magee Secondary School will be making the benches once the wood is done drying, which will happen over the next few months.

“I think it’s really, really exciting for them and holds a lot of value for them,” said Robinson the head of the shop department at Magee. “Especially when it comes to taking ownership of your neighbourhood in your community.”

Robinson and his class doesn’t plan on painting the benches because they want to retain the tree’s natural colour.

Although the benches are being made by students, the project has been a community effort, with Perry, the owner of Kerrisdale Lumber, helping with the transportation and milling of the wood.

Perry said knowing the Magee students will be creating the benches is “just a heart-warming thought.”

 

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