Kurt Alberts is part of a group organizing a tree planting of trees like these cedars and horse chestnuts on Glover Road. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Memory Grove hopes to create long legacy for Fort Langley

Organizers of a tree planting project have a timespan of a century in mind.

A project to plant new groves of trees near trails in Fort Langley will come to fruition after a fundraising gala scheduled for April 19.

“It’s intended to leave a bit of a legacy,” said Kurt Alberts, one of the organizers of the effort.

A former Langley Township mayor, Alberts said the project was inspired by the horse chestnuts and western red cedars planted along Glover Road in the Fort by Dr. Benjamin Marr.

Those trees were planted in the 1920s near the cemetery. Alberts said the late Bill Marr, Dr. Marr’s son, told Alberts of the trees being planted when he was just four or five years old.

Now the Arbour Trails project is planing to plant a grove of horse chestnuts and western red cedars to the west of urban Fort Langley, in the Salmon River Natural Area near Bedford Landing.

There will be three white horse chestnuts, 14 red horse chestnuts, 11 grand firs and two western red cedars, said Alberts.

The land is near a wetland, but in the past it was used as a cornfield.

Now it’s a good place for some big trees to grow and spread out, without having to be pruned back yearly due to BC Hydro wires, as the trees on Glover are.

In addition to the trees, smaller shrubs such as red twig dogwood, twinberry, snowberry, and huckleberry are to be planted closer to the river.

With the trees on Glover Road nearing a century in age, Alberts said the members of the Arbour Trails group wanteed to create that kind of long-lasting legacy.

“I think that’s one of the character-defining elements of Fort Langley, those hose chestnut trees,” said Alberts.

The new grove of trees is expected to be planted in time for this year’s Arbour Day.

This planting has been dubbed Memory Grove. Alberts said there seems to be enough public interest that they might do another one.

The upcoming gala will help fund the project.

The Grove Gala at the Fort Langley Community Hall starts at 7 p.m. and will feature music by Karla Sax, canapes, a cash bar, door prizes, and a live auction including trees and a sunset cruise in the “Brenda A” York boat.

Tickets are $50 each and are available by contacting organizers through the project’s website at thememorygrove.com or www.facebook.com/TheMemoryGrove/.

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