Legacy of Trees
Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver's Stanley Park
About the Book
Honourable Mention, 2021 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing
An engaging, informative, and visually stunning tour of the numerous native, introduced, and ornamental tree species found in Vancouver’s Stanley Park, combining a wealth of botanical knowledge with a fascinating social history of the city’s most celebrated landmark.
Measuring 405 hectares (1,001 acres) in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park is home to more than 180,000 trees. Ranging from centuries-old Douglas firs to ornamental Japanese cherry trees, the trees of Stanley Park have come to symbolize the ancient roots and diverse nature of the city itself.
For years, Nina Shoroplova has wandered through Vancouver’s urban forest and marvelled at the multitude of tree species that flourish there. In Legacy of Trees, Shoroplova tours Stanley Park’s seawall and beaches, wetlands and trails, pathways and lawns in every season and every type of weather, revealing the history and botanical properties of each tree species.
Unlike many urban parks, which are entirely cultivated, the area now called Stanley Park was an ancient forest before Canada’s third-largest city grew around it. Tracing the park’s Indigenous roots through its colonial history to its present incarnation as the jewel of Vancouver, visited by eight million locals and tourists annually, Legacy of Trees is a beautiful tribute to the trees that shape Stanley Park’s evolving narrative.
—Wayne Grady, author of Tree: A Life Story (with David Suzuki) and of The Great Lakes: A Natural History.
—Bill Stephen, superintendent of urban forestry (ret.), Vancouver Park Board
—BC Books for BC Schools