Windmill could be in Doubleday Arboretum’s future

Al Neufeld presented plans to build an information centre and a windmill at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum to Township council. - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Al Neufeld presented plans to build an information centre and a windmill at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum to Township council.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

The future of the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in Langley will include a visitor centre based on the Iris Griffith Interpretive Centre on the Sunshine Coast.

There will also be a site devoted to willow trees.

And, possibly, a windmill to generate electrical power.

Al Neufeld, the Township manager of Parks, Design and Development,  discussed plans for the 12-acre Township site on the Fraser Highway near the Langley airport during a year-end report on the Arbouretum Dec. 9.

The visitor centre is being designed in collaboration with the Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley, which arranged a field trip to the Sunshine Coast centre this year.

The Iris Griffith Field Studies and Interpretive Centre opened in 2005 at  at 15386 Sunshine Coast Hwy, Madeira Park.

It is housed in a 2,500 square foot log cabin that offers a nature school program for elementary and secondary school students, adult education courses for university and college students, and interpretive programs, workshops, lectures and and tours for all.

Neufeld said the Langley centre would likely offer the same services and use the same style of construction.

“Having a log facility would be ideal,” Neufeld told The Times following his presentation.

The are also plans to plant a “Willow Theme Area” at Derek Doubleday to demonstrate different historical uses of the slender trees.

The old-fashioned style windmill, if funding can be found to build one, could be used to pump water and generate electricity.

Since 2006, $1 million — including about $200,000 in grants and donations — has been invested in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum, which is named after a late Township manager who was known for his love of trees and green spaces.

This year, among other things, the Township moved the demonstration garden from Murrayville and a CN Rail grant funded landscaping and acquisition of plants for a compost demonstration garden.

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