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Springtime in Colony Farm, Port Coquitlam

Photos by Joseph Boltrukiewicz

The signs of spring are clearly visible in Colony Farm.

The history of Colony Farm dates back to 1904, when the Essondale mental health facility acquired 1,000 acres of arable land and wetlands. For the next 70 years the farm provided food for the hospital's patients, becoming the province's most outstanding agricultural success. The farm soon acquired a reputation as "the best in the West" for its great products and organization. It became world-famous for its Holstein cattle and pioneered artificial insemination techniques that gave birth to many of B.C.'s dairy farms. Today, Colony Farm is a tranquil piece of greenery in the middle of a busy section of the Tri-City region (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody).

 

Encircled by the busy regions of the Port Mann Bridge, Lougheed Highway and the Shaughnessy Street and Maryhill Bypass, Colony Farm is located just outside the busy region of the city of Vancouver, and between the cities of Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

The farm is now a home to many wildlife species. Many different kinds of birds (hawks, cedar waxwings and hummingbirds), bears and other wildlife make their homes along the banks of the farm’s wetlands, in its bushes and its fields, feeding on insects, red elderberry fruits and mountain ash berries.

Colony Farm is a beautiful and well-preserved piece of green space that has so far managed to avoid the pressures of urban sprawl and golf course development. Visits to Colony Farm over can bring surprising results in search for signs of spring, with many changes to the landscape over just a few days.

The farm is part of Port Coquitlam's green area that has the PoCo Trail running through it. Thanks to the trail and its easy access in the presence of a heavily trafficked highway and densely populated residential area, the large area of greenery is a great place to take a walk, ride a bike and to see the first signs of spring. A short walk on Saturday night around 9 p.m. finished on the lake that  became a concert hall for croaking frogs. While not much in the way of video quality, the linked video records well the evening life of frogs as they begin to become more active with the warming weather.

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