Today’s Poll

Persistence in times of adversity

By Contributor
June 22nd, 2018

Standing Strong for the Vienna Woods, a tenacious group made up of environmentally-empassioned youth, educators and concerned citizens, is asking Grand Forks Mayor and Council to re-zone the forests known as The Vienna Woods into an urban forest and natural wildlife sanctuary.

The Vienna Woods are located just south of downtown Grand Forks and boasts 90-year-old Ponderosa Pines.

“We are asking for more time, and we are hoping that Council changes their mind about selling off the forested lands,” says spokesperson Joanie Koch-Kalanj.  “It’s sad that in the middle of the devastation caused by the recent flooding that we have to plead to City Hall to protect the sensitive ecological environment that the Vienna Woods provides.”

The citizens action group started their campaign before the floods but ramped up after Councillor Neil Krog announced at the May 7th Committee Meeting of the Whole that the City was in negotiations to sell off part of the forested lands to a business interest.

At the June 11th Council meeting, two councillors indicated that there are other city-owned lands, non-forested, that could be sold for business development.  “This would be an elegant solution, to protect the forest and serve Council’s desire for business growth,” says Koch-Kalanj.

“We are hoping people understand that it’s important to stand up for the Vienna Woods, now, while there is still time to help the forest regain some of its former glory.  Those trees have stood the test of time for over 90 years.  They have persisted through adversity, droughts, frosts, and floods, but now they might not survive human interference without our collective efforts.”

“Our resiliency in recovering from the floods is showing up in amazing ways, and this is another way that we can help re-shape and re-build what’s important in our beautiful little valley.  We can contribute to the ripple effect of neighbours helping neighbours by strengthening our resolve to overcome obstacles.”

Interested citizens are invited to attend the June 25th, 7:00pm meeting at Grand Forks City Hall to show support for the preservation, restoration and conservation of the publically-owned lands in Vienna Woods.  Phone City Hall at 250-442-8266, write or email the mayor and council,  Email:

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