Forest filled with singing, dancing, painting
Organizers estimate that about 80 to 100 people gathered Sunday, Oct. 28 in the forest known as McLellan Park East in the Glen Valley area of Langley to hear from artists, musicians and writers.
“We were really happy with the turnout and response to this remarkable forest,” said poet and Langley resident Susan McCaslin.
“Everyone who visits says it is obvious that Langley should not sell this forest for development — you cannot get something like this back easily.”
A local group known as WOLF has been given until Dec. 17 to raise $3 million to keep the 25 acres from being sold for development.
Artists came from Langley, White Rock and New Westminster for the event.
Two Langley Fine Arts School students, James Tebutt and Duncan Lee, performed a humourous song they wrote for the occasion, in which one took the role of those wanting to protect the forest and the other took the role of Township councillors who want to sell it off.
Speakers included Trinity Western University professors David Jordan, a dendrologist (tree ring expert) and Erica Grimm, a visual artist.
Joe Foy, national campaign coordinator for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, told the crowd that he was born and raised on a chicken farm in Langley and knows the significance and rarity of these remnants of older forests.
“Langley councillors are giving you a false choice — either you sell off this forest or you don’t get a community centre.
“That is like Vancouver residents being told that they can either keep Stanley Park or get needed repairs to St. Paul’s Hospital.
“Vancouverites would never accept that, and neither should the citizens of Langley,” said Foy.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., several senior classes from Langley Fine Arts School are heading to McLellan forest to view, perform, photograph, write, draw, sing and dance to honor and experience a local space that is on the development block.
The event has been organized by students and faculty and will include a choir singing in the forest.
For anyone who would like to visit, tours of the forest are available at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, leaving from the trailhead on 257A Street, just north of 84 Avenue.