The Derby Reach and Brae Island Parks Association hosts events such as Heritage Apple Day and now summertime themed walks.

Walk and talk and enjoy Langley parks

A local parks association offers walking talks this summer.

Alex Skerdzhev

A new walking lecture series kicks off April 15 with a session on the wildflowers that grow in the Derby Reach area.

The Derby Reach/Brae Island Park Association’s first walk and lecture event will be led April 15 by 30-year BC Parks naturalist Al Grass in identifying spring flowers and learning about their natural history.

The initiative is part of a new program for the association that will see new walks and events happening every month starting from April and running to October.

“The walks will be held one time a month and we will have a variety of experts,” said Kristina Gervais, program and outreach coordinator with the parks association.

She said the programs, walks and experts will change every month.

“Our second event, we are getting special access to the Langley bog. We need a special permit to access it, so it is something that people won’t be able to see normally,” Gervais explained.

The two-hour planned walk and talk for the bog will be led by Trinity Western University ecologist David Clements.

In addition, a third walk is being organized at the Fort Langley National Historic Site with costumed heritage interpretor Aman Johal leading the group.

Around 20 people are expected to be able to take part in these walks with the exception being the bog, that will see the group being limited to around 15 because of its environmentally sensitive nature.

Gervais said the themes and locales for the walk and talks were chosen by the association.

“We have a board of directors who have the main ideas and meet to discuss for brainstorming on what would interest people,” she said. “The whole point of the association is to bring awareness for the parks themselves.”

Both Derby Reach Park and Brae Island are already popular local destinations, seeing almost 890,000 visitors for Derby and more than 260,000 for Brae Island in 2015.

This amounts to an increase of 18 per cent, and 11 per cent from 2014, respectively.

The association is a non-profit community-based society staffed by volunteers focusing on education, conservation and non-intrusive recreation compatible with conservation and protection.

The organization hosts events such as Heritage Apple Day, providing interested folks with history on their local agricultural heritage and centenarian orchards. As well, it is involved in initiatives to clear forest floors from creeping ivy; promoting walking, cycling, running, and horse-riding trails, along with disabled access; and trying to leave as small a footprint on the landscape as possible.

The Spring Wild Flower Nature Walk will take place at the Derby Reach Regional Park, with the meet-up location being the Houston Trail parking lot on Allard Crescent at 10 a.m.

The April 15 walk is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon.

The event is free of charge but registration is mandatory.

Register by phoning Gervais at 604-970-6777 or emailing to


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