A significant grant from BC Hydro and TreeCanada will enhance an environmental oasis that continues to evolve through community involvement.
The Derek Doubleday Arboretum, a 12acre sanctuary of woods, wetlands, and pathways, was created by the Township of Langley in the fall of 2008. Named after a long-serving Township employee who greatly valued green space, the arboretum has been benefitting from numerous community partnerships and people and organizations who appreciate natural beauty.
Earlier this year, a $12,000 grant from the BC Hydro-sponsored TreeCanada program was received by the Township to cover the cost of planting dozens of trees.
In 2011, Elizabeth and Michael Pratt created LangleyYouth for the Fallen to plant a memorial grove in the Arboretum, with one tree for each of the 158 Canadian soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Funding for most of the trees was raised by the Pratts through community donors, and the TreeCanada contribution will cover the final costs of the project.
Along with the memorial grove, the Derek Doubleday Arboretum features pathways, a bridge, waterways, and viewing decks. Located next to the Nicomekl River and the Langley Airport between Fraser Highway and 56 Avenue, it will also house a sustainable horticultural centre in the future. The Township's Demonstration Garden, which is run by the Langley Environmental Partners Society, relocated to the Arboretum last fall.
All of the projects that have contributed to the development of the site were made possible through community partnerships formed by the Township and groups such as the Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley and the Rotary Club of Langley.
"The individuals and organizations involved with the Derek Doubleday Arboretum have shown great vision and dedication, and their efforts are very much appreciated," said Township Parks Design and Development manager Al Neufeld. "Everything they do, from contributing funds to literally getting their hands dirty to create this oasis, continues to enhance a site that the entire community can enjoy."