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New Township park named after Glen Valley pioneer

A wooded 25-acre parcel of land in Glen Valley was officially dedicated as McLellan Forest Natural Park on Monday, March 3. The park is named for pioneer Fred McLellan who came to Langley from Cape Breton. - file photo
A wooded 25-acre parcel of land in Glen Valley was officially dedicated as McLellan Forest Natural Park on Monday, March 3. The park is named for pioneer Fred McLellan who came to Langley from Cape Breton.
— image credit: file photo

A newly created municipal park has been named after a pioneer who lived off the land in Glen Valley.

Over 25 acres of wooded land on 84 Avenue between 252 and 254 Streets was officially named McLellan Forest Natural Park by Langley Township council.

Mayor Jack Froese made the announcement at council’s March 3 meeting.

“This place holds special significance for many of our residents and it is fitting that it be named after the man and the family who first called the area home,” he said.

“This is a community that values its history and heritage, and we are pleased that John F. McLellan’s name and the contributions he made to Langley will be commemorated in this park.”

Born in Scottsville, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1860, John Fred McLellan moved west in 1878.

He helped build many of the community’s roads and bridges in the early days of Langley.

The McLellan farm was located near 256 (Coghlan) Street and River Road.

McLellan died on July 2, 1940 at the age of 80 years, but his descendants continued to farm in the area as well as fishing the Fraser River.

His great-great grandson, Greg McLellan, still lives in Glen Valley, and provided the Township with written and anecdotal family history.

McLellan Forest Natural Park had previously been known as McLellan Forest West.

It was one of two Glen Valley properties that were put up for sale by Township council in 2012 to help fund a new community centre in Aldergrove.

The result was a public backlash that saw council abandon the notion and vote in the fall of 2013 to preserve McLellan Forest as a municipal natural park.

The second Glen Valley property, known as the Gray Pit Lands, was purchased by Trinity Western University for use as a conservation area thanks to a generous donation by Ann Blaauw and her family.

The property was named after Ann’s late husband Thomas and will be preserved for public use, education, and research.

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