Township Arbour Day trees honour community leaders at garden opening

Plants and trees are expected in the Township of Langley. Not only are they expected, but they are also celebrated.

Hundreds of people attended the free 2014 Arbour Day event held under sunny skies on April 27 at the Fort Langley Community Park.

The event also featured the official opening of the Fort Langley Community Garden.

This was the 12th Township Arbour Day event. Each year is held in a different park and neighbourhood for the festivities, so combining the community garden opening and Arbour Day events seemed a natural fit.

“This is an ideal location for this year’s event,” said Al Neufeld with the Township, noting the park is adjacent to Langley Fine Arts School.

Last year, a group of students with the Langley Fine Arts School (LFA) Green Team partnered with other volunteers, community groups, businesses, and the Township of Langley to create a new community garden in the park. Former LFA student and green team lead member Devon Azevedo is credited as being the community garden founder.

The group built and now maintains 60 garden bed boxes, so that the public can grow their own organic vegetables and flowers. These gardens bring independence and a sense of accomplishment among other things, to those who use them.

Not only were LFA students on hand to help in the garden for Arbour Day, the school’s jazz band also performed a concert.

The garden is the perfect companion for the shade, beauty and environmental support provided by the trees of Fort Langley Community Park.

As part of the celebration, guests were able to tour the garden and could plant fruit shrubs or flowering plants. Other displays and activities included discussions with master gardeners and arbourists, composting techniques, and a wide range of interactive displays.

A special presentation was made to honour Azevedo for leading the creation of the garden, and the planting of fruit trees celebrated community members who passed away in the previous year, but who left valuable legacies.

They included: Alexander (Sandy) Wakeling, Allan Thain, Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre, Ruth Erickson, Beverly Gold, Brad Reid, Willard Ball, Norman Sherritt, Austin Kingsborough, Brendan Wilson, Mildie Berry, William (Bill) Bettles, and Jack Worrell.

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