A ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opened the Memory Grove. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Fort Langley Memory Grove opens

A “feel-good project” that brought community together, organizer said

The new Fort Langley Memory Grove officially opened Saturday in Fort Langley with a ribbon-cutting, plaque unveiling and a fly-past.

Thirty trees have been arranged as a place to stop and relax on the Salmon River Trail between the Fort to Fort Trail and Billy Brown Road.

Each tree has their own name, many of them whimsical like “may contain nuts,” “bloomers” and “where pigs fly.”

“We wanted to give personalities to the trees so everyone who sponsored a tree was asked to select a name,” said Kurt Alberts, one of the organizers of the project.

Fort Langley resident Janel Doyle named one tree after her son, Linc, as a way of expressing in literal terms how her family has taken root in Fort Langley.

“He’s the most important thing in our life,” she said of her son.

“It gives him a legacy. No matter what happens in life, he’s got a place to come (visit) and he’ll always have the memories of being in Fort Langley.”

Three horse chestnuts, 14 red horse chestnuts, 11 grand firs and two western red cedars were planted by contractor Heidelberg Landscaping

Members of the First Fort Langley Scout Group planted riparian shrubs, including Red Twig Dogwood, Twinberry, White Snowberry and Evergreen Huckleberry.

READ MORE: Work gets underway on Memory Grove

The project was inspired by the legacy left nearly a century ago by Dr. Benjamin Marr, who planted trees in front of the Marr House and the Fort Langley Cemetery on Glover Road that have grown to form a towering canopy over the road.

Marr planted 17 Horse Chestnuts on the west side, and seven Horse Chestnuts, alternated with Western Red Cedars, on the east side.

In the cemetery, more Western Red Cedars were planted to form the backdrop for the cenotaph, along with Rhododendrons.

Alberts said the inspiration to build on that legacy goes back to a meeting he had with Dr. Marr’s son, Bill Marr, a number of years ago.

Bill, who passed away at the age of 100 in February, was only four-years-old when his father planted the heritage trees.

“It was a feel-good project,” Alberts said, one that brought the community together.

Alberts said pulling off such an ambitious legacy project required a lot of volunteers and businesses to come together.

“It’s one thing to have an idea, but its one thing to actually make it happen,” Alberts said.

“The dollars are pretty significant.”

If it wasn’t for the success of the Grove fund-raising gala on April 19, “We wouldn’t have been able to pull this off,” Alberts said.

READ MORE: Heritage grove to be planted near Bedford Landing

Alberts estimated the cost at about $50,000, not including the pro bono efforts of Mark van der Zalm, whose landscaping company donated staff and time.

Van der Zalm, who was MC at the opening, said the Grove would provide “a node on the trail where people can stop and rest for a moment.”

Township mayor Jack Jack Froese called it a “very special project” that will benefit future generations

“It’s great to see this grove come to life” Froese said.

Alberts presented a community spirit award to Lee’s Market for their support of the project.

Following the ribbon cutting, there was a fly-past by the Fraser Blues formation flying team.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Janel Doyle named a tree after her son. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Kurt Alberts described it as a “feel-good project” at the official opening of the Memory Grove. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Fly-past by Fraser Blues over Memory Grove. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Township mayor Jack Froese spoke at the opening of the Memory Grove. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

A plaque was unveiled. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

KPU Langley receives $25K grant to restore indigenous forest

Campus grounds will be reclaimed from overgrown thicket of blackberry shrubs and invasive plants

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Crash closes lanes on Langley Bypass, Fraser Highway

Traffic backed up in all directions due to multi-vehicle accident

VIDEO: Langley school trustees approve pay hikes

Proposal to adjust compensation every year based on inflation index rejected

Motorcyclist dies in Cloverdale crash

Motorcycle collides with SUV around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday evening

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Fireworks and fires over a half-metre banned Friday in Kamloops centre

B.C. Wildfire Service banning to category 2 and 3 fires in Kamloops Fire Centre at noon Friday

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Large B.C. tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and District investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Man confessed to ‘Mr. Big’ that he killed his half-sister by suffocating her

Details heard in court about murder of Rachel Pernosky, 18, of Mission

Most Read