“… a proud part of volunteering at John Dean Park.”
If you’ve seen the Friends logo, you’ve probably wondered: “What’s with the tree?”
The symbol / emblem of the Friends of John Dean Park Society, is a side view sketch of an old growth Douglas fir tree, commonly see throughout the park. This logo first appeared on the cover page of the Friends first newsletter, mailed February 1987.
Countering an era of park neglect, in 1984 six persons formed the Friends of John Dean Park. They identified concerns and worked on two fronts: 1) cleaning and protecting the park; and 2) establishing a credible organization that would be acknowledged by BC Parks.
Suddenly in 1986, the public became aware of two major projects: 1) trees were cut and the summit road was blasted to accommodate the new MOT airport radar tower; and 2) the CRD had proposed a water reservoir with multiple pipeline corridors through the park. Citizens expressed their support for John Dean Park by joining the Friends.
That summer, a retired draughtsmen and keen member of the Friends, Neil Stewart, prepared logo options for the membership card: 1) sketched a mid-aged Douglas fir similar to the BC Forest Service tree, which looked like a pole tree; and 2) sketched a tall tree which looked similar to a Christmas tree. The second option was selected, and two boxes of 500 membership cards were ordered.
The membership had soared from 28 addresses in 1985, to 226 addresses by January 1987, which inspired the executive to prepare their first newsletter. They knew what the Friends had accomplished; most importantly they were aware of the upcoming priorities. Two founders, Edo Nyland and Des Crossley were both retired Chief Foresters (outside BC), and knew of the BC Forest Service, Parks Branch linage with today’s BC Parks. And noting the attractive groves of old growth trees within the park, the classic tree symbol was considered.
Neil Stewart, using his new (1986) computer traced/drew the outline of an old growth Douglas fir tree. The Friends executive instantly favoured Neil’s computer generated art, just in time for their premier newsletter #1. Suffice to say, at this writing the tree symbol has endured three decades!
The tree relates to the parks history – identifying those volunteers who have carried on maintaining and protecting . . . For me, the Friends emblem has been a proud part of volunteering at John Dean Park. My earliest reminiscence of the tree is within the memory of receiving my first membership card (1988). And today, although not a member because I’m a BC Parks Volunteer Steward, with fond memories I remember where I started and continue to support some 27 years on – thank you!
Next time you see the logo, know it signifies past, current and future members/volunteers who care for John Dean Park.