Outrage directed at sale, not purchase

Council’s intended sale of the “McLellan Park” forest to raise money for the Aldergrove Community Centre

Editor:

Considering the community outrage and media attention to Langley Council’s intended sale of the “McLellan Park” forest to raise money for the Aldergrove Community Centre, I thought I ought to clear up any misunderstandings which might potentially arise.

While delivering some 700 petitions gathered on Sunday to Langley Town Hall (many signed by visiting Aldergrove folks), someone asked me if I objected to the Aldergrove Community Centre project. Of course not! The question surprised me though, as I hadn’t considered that by trying to preserve our beautiful century old forest here, I might be cast as a naysayer for the plans of my Aldergrove neighbours. I’m very much in support of Aldergrove’s Community Centre; it’s long overdue. Everyone that I’ve spoken to here in Fort Langley is very much behind the Community Centre project for our neighbours, we just don’t think it should come at the expense of this rare and unique treasure of ours.

The sale of this 26 acre forest in parcels of five and eight acres might raise a few million dollars, a fraction of the total $30 million cost of the Aldergrove Community Centre project. Meanwhile Langley would lose our last remaining stand of 100 year old mixed conifer forest, noted in the 1993 Environmentally Sensitive Areas Report commissioned by Langley Township as a highly sensitive area, “a rare forest”, and an important habitat and aquifer recharge. Not to mention a beautiful place to walk.

I understand council’s commitment to its promises, but I think many people in Aldergrove share the desire to protect veteran forests, not just our wonderful buildings.

We are inviting people to visit the forest and make your concerns known to council.  There will be guided tours Sunday, July 15 between 12 and 5 p.m. The trail entrance is just kitty corner to Aldor Acres Farm on 252 St. and 84 Ave., Fort Langley.

Barb Shelly, Westcreek Organic Farm