Some of the damage caused by partiers who trashed the Langley Forest School over the March 20, 2021 weekend (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Some of the damage caused by partiers who trashed the Langley Forest School over the March 20, 2021 weekend (Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Vandals trash Langley Forest School

Partiers ‘knocked everything over that they could’ at non-profit outdoor school

Some time between Friday night, March 19, and Sunday morning March 21, some people decided to use the outdoor classroom of the Langley Forest School in Williams Park for a party.

Later that day, Carol LaJeunesse, president of the school’s board of directors, and teacher Laureen Mahe-Klaassen were preparing to call out volunteers to help undo the damage.

“They basically went into our school and turned it upside down,” a frustrated Mahe-Klaasen told the Langley Advance Times.

“They knocked everything over that they could,” LaJeunesse remarked.

“Some of it will have to be repaired.”

Whoever was responsible left behind garbage that included discarded drinks and other evidence of a party.

“It’s emotionally devastating,” LaJeunesse commented.

“How do people do stuff like that, and not think about all the little kids?”

READ MORE: Forest school children learn by playing outdoors

The school’s mud kitchen, made from donated pallets and wood, was overturned.

A backpack rack, made from branches found in the forest or donated by families, was upended and damaged as well.

Several benches were flipped off their bases.

“We are an environmental stewardship school so we don’t buy new – mostly the staff and families work hard to source fallen trees to make table slabs and stool stumps, and items that are discarded,” LaJeunesse explained.

“The kids turn them into magical play spaces with their imaginations.”

In dollar terms, the damage is not that expensive, LaJeunesse estimated, but repairing the vandalism will take many hours.

Police are investigating.

The Langley Forest School program, tucked away in a corner of Williams Park, is a partnership between the children’s parents and the Township of Langley.

Children who take part in the non-profit “play-based school” spend almost the entire day outdoors learning about nature and the environment, with the teacher and the adults in the classroom acting as research assistants.

“Children are encouraged to self-regulate, choosing to eat when they’re hungry or add or remove clothing if uncomfortable,” the website explains. “Self-reliance and resilience are fostered.”

It is the first school of it’s kind in the Fraser Valley, operating five days a week for children ages three to five.

READ ALSO: Focus on environment at the Forest School

At the moment, 80 families have children attending the school.

The yurt at the centre of the learning area escaped serious damage, and so did the shed alongside the yurt that houses a composting toilet.

Anyone in a position to help replace or repair the wood fixtures is invited to contact the school through the website at langleyforestschool.com or their Facebook page, facebook.com/langleyforestschool.


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CrimeLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Garth Dauncey is one of the volunteers working on renovations at a Langley City home for the AOK Extreme Home Repair project. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
AOK home repair could use funding support to aid Langley family

A GoFundMe is looking to raise up to $80,000

Calvin Singh, a 17-year-old Aldergrove Secondary student, earned the Jodi Steeves Kindness Scholarship. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove teen earns Jodi Steeves Kindness Award and the $1,000 that goes with it

Calvin Singh won the scholarship for showing constant kindness and positivity

Langley’s Avery Heppell has been named to Volleyball Canada’s Women’s NextGen National Team. (TWU)
Langley’s Avery Heppell has been named to Volleyball Canada’s Women’s NextGen National Team

Trinity Western University player to attend 10-week training session

One man was seriously injured in a shooting incident at the Willowbrook Shopping Centre on Monday, May 3. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
LETTER: Student poem about Langley shooting gets to the heart of the matter

All the gang violence is fueling the fight, says a young writer

One of three new hangars can be seen going up at the new Langley airport terminal building, blocking the view of the old air traffic control tower (L) , which was closed when NAV Canada operations shifted to the new tower (R).(Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Construction of new Langley airport terminal building nears completion

NAV Canada has moved into the new tower in the terminal, which means work on hangars can proceed

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old B.C. bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Most Read