Official park opening rolled into annual Arbour Day celebrations in Willoughby.
There was nothing unlucky about the number 13 in Willoughbyâ€™s Routley area on Arbour Day this year.
Langley Township celebrated its 13th annual Arbour Day â€“ a tradition that celebrates Earth Day and puts trees in the spotlight â€“ with the official opening of the communityâ€™s newest park on Sunday, April 26.
People of all ages came out to enjoy the event at Routley Park. in Willoughby at 19833 70th Ave.
Township Mayor Jack Froese characterized the even as â€œan excellent opportunity to showcase our communityâ€™s natural beauty,â€ noting, â€œEvery year, hundreds of people come to Arbour Day to learn about the importance of trees and what they contribute to our community and the environment.â€
Community Arbour Day is celebrated at a different location each year. Created to enhance the publicâ€™s awareness of the environment and the significance of Langleyâ€™s urban forests, the day features interactive displays and activities, bucket rides and rope climbing, live entertainment, face painting, and a chance to speak to gardeners and arbourists.
This year, visitors got more hands-on opportunities to learn and explore, as Township parks staff brought their equipment and tools, to show guests what goes into caring for the communityâ€™s trees.
Staff will also shared composting techniques, and composters were available for sale.
A fun and creative part of the event involved participants planting shrubs and seedlings in the park, creating a landscape that can be enjoyed for years to come.
Plus there were seedling trees available for those who wanted to extend the exercise to their own backyards.
Several trees were planted by Township council to honour members of the public who have passed away, but left lasting legacies.
This year, commemorative trees were planted for:
George Tidball â€“ Entrepreneur and founder of The Keg restaurants and Thunderbird Show Park;
Dianne Tidball â€“ Entrepreneur, outstanding horsewoman, and founder of Thunderbird Show Park;
Doris Blair â€“ Pioneer, member of Douglas Day Committee, widow of former mayor Bill Blair;
Betty Hunt â€“ Committed volunteer;
Barney Flowerdew â€“ Son of outstanding community volunteer Eric Flowerdew
Bruce Van Garderen â€“ 2010 Langley Environmental Hero; and
Committed volunteers Betty Hunt, Brenda Reddick, Kay Easingwood, and Brad Follett.
The new Routley Park includes a dog off-leash area, a playground, trails, and a community garden.