Mayor Kurt Alberts was instrumental in having Council adopt the concept of an arbour ribbon along the urban edge. The green ribbon along the urban edge is intended to further tighten the urban containment boundary as well as serve as a major public passive amenity. Tree retention and tree planting will benefit our environment. The arbour ribbon is part of a long term strategy that receives funding from new development in the form of development cost charges for open space acquisition. Significant acquisitions to date include the 175 acre Hope Redwoods Property, the 48 acre Dixon Heritage Property, the Yorkson Lowlands, and the 57 acre portion of the Berry Property, to be called the Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

Township Acquires Key Green Space

The Township of Langley announced a key acquisition in the creation of an arbour ribbon greenspace along the urban edge. Last year, Township Council adopted the concept of an arbour ribbon of trees and greenspace next to urban areas.

The Township has purchased 57 ac on the north side of Fraser Hwy from one of Langley’s pioneer families. Family spokesperson, Bill Berry, said that the property had been in his family for over 100 years. In 1904, John Walter Berry, settled on the original 135 acre farm, and began milking Holstein cattle. Belmont Farms was known as the “farm where the bull milked the cows” because the first milking machine was powered by their 2,000 pound bull walking a tread mill to generate energy.

The Berry family ceased dairy farming many ago and subsequently leased out the portion of the farm sold to the Township for haying. Prior to the establishment of the Belmont Farm the property was heavily timbered. Using horse, block and tackle, shovels and stumping powder the land was cleared of trees including many six-foot in diameter Douglas fir.

The property’s strategic location and natural attributes make it a cornerstone to the realization of the arbour ribbon concept. The property is located between the Township’s Regional Airport and the Langley City boundary with high visibility from both Fraser Hwy and 56 Avenue. With its proximity to the McLeod Athletic Park it can form a passive park component to the overall complex.

The arbour ribbon concept proposes a variety of ecosystems from uplands to lowlands. With the Nicomekl River and a tributary, Fraser Creek, running through the Berry property, it will make an ideal interpretive centre of Fraser Valley wetland and lowland ecosystems. The property’s Carvolth Soils are silty loam to silty clay loam which support native shrubs such as Red Osier Dogwood, Salmonberry, and Nootka Rose. In addition to Douglas Fir, native tree species included Western Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Bigleaf Maple.

To mark the significance of the acquisition for the future generations of Langley, Mayor and Council, planted a Douglas Fir within the streamside area of Fraser Creek. Plans will be prepared for environmental restoration of the watercourse areas in time for consideration of the 2006 Arbour Day Community Celebration.