Routley Park will be officially opened on Arbour Day

Trees will be planted to commemorate outstanding residents who passed away in 2014.

Well-known Langley businessman George Tidball and his wife Dianne are among the people to be honoured with memorial tree plantings at Arbour Day in Langley Township in Sunday. The Tidballs

Well-known Langley businessman George Tidball and his wife Dianne are among the people to be honoured with memorial tree plantings at Arbour Day in Langley Township in Sunday. The Tidballs

An annual tradition which celebrates Earth Day and puts trees in the spotlight will also mark the official opening of the community’s newest park.

Langley Township presents its 13th annual Community Arbour Day celebration on Sunday, April 26, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Routley Park. The new neighbourhood park is located in Willoughby at 19833 – 70 Avenue, and people of all ages are invited to enjoy the free event.

“This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our community’s natural beauty and invite the public out to visit one of our newest parks,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese. “Every year, hundreds of people come to Arbour Day to learn about the importance of trees and what they contribute to our community and the environment. This year, it will be exciting to officially unveil Routley Park and give residents the opportunity to contribute to the site by planting trees and plants themselves.”

Community Arbour Day is celebrated at a different location each year. Created to enhance the public’s awareness of the environment and the significance of urban forests, the day features interactive displays and activities, bucket rides and rope climbing, live entertainment, face painting, and the chance to speak to gardeners and arbourists.

This year, visitors will get more hands-on opportunities to learn and explore, as Township parks staff will bring their equipment and tools to the event to show guests what goes into caring for the community’s trees. Staff will also share composting techniques and will have composters available for sale.

Participants will be encouraged to grab a shovel and plant shrubs and seedlings in the park, creating a landscape that can be enjoyed for years to come. Guests can take a free bag of compost and a seedling home with them for use in their own yards.

As well, several trees will be planted by Township council to honour members of the public who have passed away, but left lasting legacies. This year, commemorative trees will be planted for:

—  George Tidball – Entrepreneur and founder of The Keg restaurants and Thunderbird Show Park;

—  Dianne Tidball – Entrepreneur, outstanding horsewoman, founder of Thunderbird Show Park;

—  Doris Blair – Pioneer, member of Douglas Day Committee;

— Betty Hunt – Commitment to volunteerism;

— Barney Flowerdew – Son of outstanding community volunteer Eric Flowerdew;

— Bruce Van Garderen – 2010 Langley Environmental Hero;

— Brenda Reddick – Commitment to volunteerism;

— Kay Easingwood – Commitment to volunteerism; and

— Brad Follett – Commitment to volunteerism.

Community Arbour Day 2015 will also include an official opening ceremony for Routley Park, which features a dog off-leash area, a playground, trails, and a community garden. Residents are encouraged to sign up to use one of the community garden plots, and can call 604-532-7350 for information.