Langley history enthusiasts asked to get their hands dirty

The Fort Langley heritage CN Station needs volunteer weed pullers and gardeners to step up and help.

History lovers with an appreciation for gardening could prove invaluable to the Fort Langley historic CN Station.

Counting down to the May long weekend, the new CN Station manager Helen Williams is soliciting help to prepare the grounds for the upcoming tourism season.

Gearing up for a new season involves a lot of preparations, Williams explained. Part of that is weeding and preparing its heritage gardens, which are a significant part of life at the station where Richard Simpson was station agent through the 1920s.

He and his wife, Mary, grew 37 varieties of perennials. And to ensure their century-old garden looks its best, Williams is asking for some help.

Volunteer weed-pullers are invited to dig in on Monday, April 23, beginning at 10 a.m.

“Monday’s garden bee will not restore Mrs. Simpson’s garden to its original glory, but it will keep her vision alive and remind us of the significance of station agents and their role in communities when rail was the main form of transportation and communication,” Williams said.

Gardening competitions between station agents were an annual event up and down the CN line.

The railroad even had a network of greenhouses to grow plants for the agents, she noted.

The 1915 station was restored by the Langley Heritage Society 35 years ago, and today volunteers act as ambassadors at the station house, caboose with model railway, and passenger car.

“I’m grateful to all the volunteers giving their time to pull weeds and get their hands dirty. They too see the value in preserving not only our heritage through structures, but also in the landscapes that once sculpted the community of a time long gone,” Williams elaborated.

The station opens to the public beginning on the Victoria Day weekend.

“It should be a blooming good year!” she concluded, asking people interested in volunteering to contact her viat email at volunteer@langleyheritage.ca.

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