Rivers Day returns to the Derek Doubleday Arboretum Sept. 23. Submitted photo

Rivers Day returns to Derek Doubleday Arboretum Sept. 23

Free, family event encourages residents to become environmental stewards

From raptors and owls to rock climbing and gold panning, there will be plenty to see, do, experience, and learn when the Township of Langley and Langley Environmental Partners Society team up to present the annual BC Rivers Day Community Festival.

The free, family-oriented celebration of water, nature and the environment returns to the Derek Doubleday Arboretum at 21200 Fraser Highway on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A Langley tradition for close to three decades, Rivers Day encourages people of all ages to become good environmental stewards and promotes the importance of protecting our waterways and ecosystems.

“The BC Rivers Day Festival is a great way to get people of all ages to think about our water resources and how to care for the world around us,” said Township of Langley Environmental Co-ordinator Meaghan Norton Daniel.

“There will be more than 25 interactive displays featured and visitors can discover all kinds of things about animals and their habitat, local projects and programs related to watersheds, and how to become an environmental steward. Rivers Day is a fun, family day where people pick up valuable knowledge and environmentally-friendly ideas along the way.”

Visitors will be able to build a birdfeeder, listen to stories, pan for gold, have their faces painted, join in circus art, and dress up and go on parade. Entertainment will be provided by Bobs & LoLo, the Ta Daa Lady, and Tony Prophet, and a free hot dog barbecue will begin at noon. Guests are encouraged to bring their own drink container and fill up at the water truck.

Limited parking is available on site and there is plenty of free parking at the nearby Langley Secondary School, where a free community shuttle will connect visitors to the festival at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

The Arboretum, home to the Nicomekl River, the Langley Demonstration Garden, and the new Rotary Interpretive Center, is full of sturdy, accessible trails that will allow visitors to walk, wheel, or ride through the site. Guests are encouraged to cycle to the festival — which is good for both their health and the environment — and free valet bike parking will be offered.

Following Rivers Day, opportunities to learn about and protect the community’s watercourses, groundwater, and wildlife habitats will continue with WaterWeeks, a three-week series that gives participants a chance to explore, engage and experience the best of Langley’s natural environment.

Starting Saturday, Sept. 29, a variety of WaterWeeks activities will be offered, including tree plantings, watershed and wetland tours, film screenings, a bus tour and streamside cleanup. The events are free and open to the public, but space is limited. To register, call 604-532-3511 or email exec_director@leps.bc.ca.

For a full listing of WaterWeeks activities, and to learn more about BC Rivers Day, visit tol.ca/waterweeks.

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