In keeping a tradition alive that was started decades ago by the late MP Mark Warawa, the current Langley-Aldergrove MP was out Saturday, June 3 giving away plants.
Specifically, Tako van Popta was giving away seedlings or starters native to the region, a project he takes on each spring – in conjunction with the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS).
A few dozen people were already lined up in the Home Depot parking lot when the MP arrived ahead of the giveaway.
“This is my small effort to help Langley stay green – beautiful Langley – to make it more beautiful than it already is,” van Popta said, noting how grateful he was to see the lineup.
“This yearly event is a great way to restore beauty and forestation to the earth one yard at a time, and also gives me a welcome opportunity to connect with my constituents,” he said.
Among the 600 free plants given out last weekend, about half were vine maples, explained LEPS’ agriculture programs coordinator Amanda Smith, who was on hand dividing and packaging plants for giveaway.
“It grows to about five metres, and it’s really wonderful as it’s more of a tree canopy,” she said, showing of a foot-high maple seedling.
“And, because it’s native, it really does help with the diversity of our eco-systems. Plus, once it’s established, it’s a really good thing to have in your front yard or backyard, just for a little bit of shade.”
They also gave away drought-tolerant Elijah blue grasses.
“We’re having, obviously, a very early summer time, and we call it kind of a drought,” Smith said.
“So planting drought-tolerant species and native [seedlings] is kind of the way to go.”
Van Popta indicated he’d be back again next year, anxious to keep up the efforts to introduce more native species to the region.
“A big thank you to Langley Environmental Partners Society for their continued collaboration on this project, and to everyone who came out and stood in line for a plant,” he said.
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