A ribbon cutting marked the official opening of the new interpretive centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

VIDEO: New interpretive centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum opens

Unique design uses natural logs as support beams

Mayor Jack Froese called the new Rotary Interpretive Centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum “spectacular” at the official opening of the newest civic structure in Langley Township Saturday.

Speaking before the ribbon-cutting, Froese praised the Rotary Club of Langley as a “passionate and committed group of volunteers” who decided to mark their 60th anniversary by raising $250,000 to build the centre.

It was, the mayor noted, the largest donation the club has ever made in Langley.

The funding was matched and topped up by the Township of Langley, and, to complete the project withinbudget, the club of Langley sought donations of labour and construction materials including windows, wall framing, plumbing, construction fencing, discounted lumber, an electric fireplace, and portions of the site work.

Les Clay, a longtime nurseryman, Rotarian, and community supporter, recounted how the centre came about.

“Quite a few years ago, back in 2007, I was male senior of the year,” Clay related.

“As such, I was sitting around in a City park with a couple of mayors and some other officials. I started to berate them about the condition of some of the trees I had donated to the city and the township. They kind of turned the tables on me and told me they didn’t have a facility capable of looking after the plants.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: A memorial rose garden for Langley woman

Then-Langley City Mayor Marlene Grinnell told Clay it was too bad there was no suitable place to show them off.

At the next Langley Rotary meeting, Clay recalled, Eric Bysouth took on the cause, talked to Township Mayor Kurt Alberts, and began getting a number of interested groups together.

It all led to a partnership between the Township and the Rotary Club and, ultimately, a building that will be used to educate people about the vast array of cultural and environmental uses for plants.

Since 2006, the Rotary Club of Langley has assisted with several other projects at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum, including the Literary Circle, the deck around the Walk to Remember commemorative structure, two viewing decks along Fraser Creek, benches, landscape plantings, and rain gardens.

READ ALSO: Work begins on Rotary Interpretive Centre

The new two-storey, 100 sq. meter building that overlooks the 21200 block of Fraser Highway was built using an unmilled post and beam design with cedar siding and a green roof overt the entrance.

It will have desk space for the Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley and other volunteer organizations that operate programs in the park or contribute to its maintenance.

There will also be a series of interpretive panels and interactive displays to educate visitors on the natural environment and sustainable initiatives.

Once enough volunteers are in place, the centre will be open to the public.

The facility will also serve visitors to the arboretum and the general public with restrooms, bookable meeting space, and a kitchenette.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

The new centre offers an airy interior. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Langley councillor Blair Whitmarsh was impressed. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Les Clay spoke at the opening. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

The new interpretive centre at Derek Doubleday Arboretum. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Just Posted

D.W. Poppy students rally against middle school

Inspired by one student, large crowds wore red during school district’s third consultation

Liberal MP slams Conservative opponent over assisted dying views in Cloverdale-Langley City

John Aldag said Tamara Jansen had trivialized the Holocaust with her remarks

Seniors a topic of Aldergrove’s election debate

Veterans, drug costs iscussed at latest all-candidates forum

$100,000 reward for B.C. gangster extended to United States

Police belive fugitive Conor D’Monte may be in the Los Angeles area

LETTER: Langley letter writers asks when can society stop saying sorry

A local man questions why City council feels the need to follow higher levels of government

VIDEO: Families flock to fire prevention event in Langley City

City firefighters focus on educating the public at their annual open house

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Emily Carr University closed Sunday after fire causes some damage

The school is working with Vancouver police to assist their investigation into the fire

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read