Langley man helped create future green thumbs

The rain stopped early in the morning, then the clouds parted and the spirit of Bruce Van Garderen shone down on Langley Meadows Community School on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Van Garderen, who co-founded Maples Discovery Garden and was a key driver in introducing Langley Meadows’ older students to gardening over the past few years, died from cancer this past April.

He was 64.

During an afternoon ceremony on Nov. 4, with Van Garderen’s family members as well as Jean Moir’s 3/4/5 class looking on, Langley Meadows dedicated its school gardens in Van Garderen’s memory.

Over a four-year period, Van Garderen partnered with Grade 7 teacher Lori Villeneuve to introduce the Langley Meadows students to the Nature’s Class program, and to Maples Discovery Gardens Co-op.  

In fact, noted his daughter Elsabee Lyon, Van Garderen helped implement the Nature’s Class in many schools in Langley starting with Langley Meadows, as his grandchildren attended that school.  

“He was also Langley Environmental Hero in 2010,” Lyon added.  

The garden, built by Langley School District workers this past winter, is now called “Bruce’s Discovery Garden.”

Lettuce, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, kale, green onions, strawberries, parsley, and daffodils have been grown at the garden since it was first constructed.

During the dedication, Van Garderen’s wife Ridi said, “This was his passion. He started the whole program.”

Villeneuve, who now teaches at Yorkson Creek Middle School, said Van Garderen’s ability to make gardening both fun and educational had a positive and lasting impact on students.

“Holding a tomato was more empowering than any math lesson you can ever teach them,” Villeneuve said.

As part of the ceremony a young tree was planted at the garden in Van Garderen’s memory.

“Bruce loved to garden, loved to talk to kids about plants,” Langley Meadows principal Vanessa Jaggi said. “Every time we go out to the garden, Bruce will be with us there.”

Just Posted

Team BC advancing undefeated in junior nationals

A Langley-based team is 6-0, thus far, at the Canadian curling championships.

Langley serves as backdrop to pair of competing short films

In the 20th annual Crazy8s Film competition, two of six producers will be filming in Langley.

VIDEO: Rivermen back on the ice in Langley tonight

In their game against West Kelowna tonight, Langley’s junior A hockey team gets into action at 7:15.

Louder helicopter partly to blame for rash of complaints in Surrey: RCMP

Police say helicopter training is conducted in Cloverdale because it’s ‘a very practical area where we do a lot of real police work’

Chances coming for public to have say on Langley tax rates

Local councillors will soon debate property tax rates for 2019.

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Most Read