Fraser Health apologizes for cutting hospital trees

Trees were removed to create 41 paid parking stalls at the hospital.

The trees were planted near the former entrance to the hospital by a group of physicians to provide shade and beautification for patients and staff.

The trees were planted near the former entrance to the hospital by a group of physicians to provide shade and beautification for patients and staff.

Fraser Health has apologized to doctors and staff at Ridge Meadows Hospital after the health authority razed trees and shrubs from the former main entrance.

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleen Juma said the trees were removed as part of repaving to create 41 additional parking stalls. Close to the entrance, she said most of the parking spots will be designated for drivers with mobility challenges.

“But we are replacing the trees as well,” said Juma.

They were planted near the former main entrance by a local physicians group to provide shade and beautification for patients and staff when the hospital was built in the 1950s.

“Once outside what was the old main entrance there were beautiful trees and shrubs creating a shady, welcoming patio for the enjoyment of both patients and visitors,” Linda King said in a letter. “Now there is carnage, the lovely old trees cut down …”

Juma said the health authority only learned afterward that the trees had some sentimental value to staff.

“We’re really sorry – that was not known to us,” said Juma. “We have apologized to the physicians, and the others who were upset.”

Juma said the replanted area will recognize the contributors to the hospital 65 years ago.