A longtime Langley club that welcomes seniors, as well as younger members, will be hitting a milestone of itself this year.
Langley Field Naturalists (LFN) is turning 50 years old.
The field naturalists are a group of people who “love the outdoors, and would like to keep it that way,” said Sheila Puls, a member of the group coming up on 20 years.
“One of our phrases is to know nature, and to keep it worth knowing,” said Puls.
LFN is an association of birders, nature lovers, citizen scientists, and folks who just enjoy being outside in the natural world, especially with others who share the same inclination.
They hold monthly meetings and host a number of outings, as well as take part in projects like bird and bat counts.
Their citizen science mandate has extended into undertaking bio-inventory studies, when they scour a particular area to determine every type of organism there – from trees and shrubs to grass, moss, fungi, birds, insects, arachnids, everything, Puls said.
They also work with sister organizations around B.C.
Puls, for example, is also on the board of BC Nature, and this year, that organization will have one of its annual meetings in Langley, in May, hosted by LFN.
The meetings take place all over the province, and are a good way for members of many naturalist groups to travel to learn about the various natural regions around B.C., Puls said. This time, they’ll be introducing people to the nature that’s found around Langley.
The LFN has something for everyone, Puls said, aged five to 100.
Puls, herself a senior, joined after she and her husband Bob retired.
“We’ve always been outdoor people,” she said.
And they were friends of the late Rhys Griffiths, who was a longtime driving force behind LFN. Griffiths encouraged them to sign up.
She’s not a specialist or enthusiast for any one particular type of nature activity, not being an avid birder or determined hiker.
Puls said she just loves being outdoors in the natural world, and finds it a place of spiritual solace.
Although she loves being outside anywhere, her favourite place isn’t in Langley, but is E.C. Manning Provincial Park – between Hope and Princeton.
She’s visited every year for the last 55 years, and loves to just sit in the sub-alpine meadows, with the flowers and the view of the mountains.
“I just enjoy it,” she said.
Another favourite part of her work with environmental groups is her work giving out grants via Nature BC.
“I love giving money away,” Puls joked.
She’s always inspired, she said, by the many ways local clubs are working to preserve the environment.
More information on the Langley Field Naturalists, including upcoming meetings and field trips, can be found on their website at www.langleyfieldnaturalists.org, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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