Nine-year-old Ryan Tyson, seen here with mom Sheryl, holds some of the few remaining pieces of the fairy village at River’s Edge that was destroyed last month. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Fairy village by Vedder River in Chilliwack forest destroyed twice in one week

The magical village was hand-crafted by children in the neighbourhood of River’s Edge in Chilliwack

A magical little fairy village tucked away in the woods by the Vedder River and lovingly hand-crafted by a group of children was demolished twice in less than a week.

On June 16, what was once an enchanting wooded area filled with dozens of miniature colourful houses, fairy figurines, hand-painted rocks and ceramic animals was now a forest floor scattered with pieces of broken wood and smashed creations.

It was built by the children, parents and grandparents of River’s Edge — a neighbourhood along the Vedder River near Peach Road.

“It’s really sad. I can’t believe kids would do that kind of thing, I can’t believe they’d wreck it,” says Sherry Stewart.

“It was such a fun little spot,” adds fellow neighbour Sheryl Tyson, standing in the empty fairy village. “It’s vandalizing things meant for a little child and throwing away little kids’ creations.”

Stewart started the fairy village at River’s Edge in December 2016 with her grandson Zack Lamoureux who was about four years old at the time.

“I was pretty sad,” said Zack when he heard about the destruction.

It happened on Father’s Day. One neighbour witnessed the destruction firsthand. They saw a group of teens, one who was smashing a house and three others who were standing around laughing. The neighbour confronted them but the teens denied doing any damage. Soon after, a security guard made his way over but no one was caught.

Sheryl Tyson holds a broken fairy wing. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Tyson and her nine-year-old son Ryan went to have a look two days later.

“We could fix that… that’s really all I thought,” said Ryan.

And so they did. The two of them began to putting the houses back together, fixing what they could without glue or nails. They had plans to return with supplies to repair more houses, but by Friday (June 21) everything was completely gone.

Tyson put a call out to the City of Chilliwack to see if they knew what had happened. She was told the city had cleaned up the fairy village after security contacted them when the little village was destroyed a second time.

“Griffin Security said that there was nothing salvageable,” said Tyson.

The fairy village began more than two years ago by Stewart and her grandson after they found an opening in a trail leading to the river and wanted to add something to it to make other people happy. The two tucked a few houses made from recycled pop bottles, sticks and moss into the trees and hung a sign reading “Fairies Welcome at River’s Edge” from a branch.

Soon, other neighbourhood children got wind of the project and started adding their own hand-made houses to it.

“By the end of spring break [2017], it just exploded,” said Stewart.

Over the years kids continued to add to it and many neighbours would fix up houses that got wrecked in windstorms or damaged by rain.

Now the neighbours of River’s Edge are rallying together to build a new fairy village. They’re not yet sure if they should rebuild in the same spot or find a new location where everyone can see it better.

Both Ryan and Zack are on board with rebuilding the fairy village. Ryan says he knows other children do enjoy it.

“If no one enjoyed it, I wouldn’t rebuilt it,” said Ryan.


 

@PhotoJennalism
jenna.hauck@theprogress.com

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A picture of what the fairy village at River’s Edge looked like in June, 2018. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

The few remnants of the fairy village at River’s Edge. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

The destroyed fairy village. (Sheryl Tyson)

The destroyed fairy village. (Sheryl Tyson)

Ryan Tyson, 9, is ready to rebuild the fairy village at River’s Edge after it was destroyed last month. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

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