The first tree – a Sitka spruce – in the second phase of Fort Langley’s Memory Grove was planted on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 21. (Kurt Alberts/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

The first tree – a Sitka spruce – in the second phase of Fort Langley’s Memory Grove was planted on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 21. (Kurt Alberts/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Second phase of Memory Grove planted at Fort Langley

The first trees started going into the ground on Thursday, Jan. 21

A second Memory Grove is being planted in Fort Langley, honouring the community’s past with a legacy of native plant species.

“Heidelberg Landscaping started the installation this morning,” said Kurt Alberts, the former Langley Township mayor and one of the key organizers of the project. “This phase will again have a grove of 30 trees like the first Memory Grove.”

The tree planting projects are aimed at creating a living legacy, and hearken back to tree-planting efforts that have created local landmarks around Langley.

When the first Memory Grove was being planted in 2018, Alberts looked back to the legacy left by residents like Dr. Benjamin Marr.

Marr planted the horse chestnuts and western red cedars that line Glover Road along the cemetery – the Marr family residence stands on the east side of the road.

Alberts also noted that other historic plantings are still around from close to a century ago, including the 10 red oaks planted in front of Murrayville Elementary in 1911. The school site has since become housing, but the oaks were protected during the construction and remain there to this day.

Another four red oaks of a similar age grow in Fort Langley near that community’s elementary school.

The two phases of the grove are both along the Salmon River Trail between the Fort to Fort Trail and Billy Brown Road. The land was once part of the big Interfor sawmill site and is now largely open ground.

The second Memory Grove will include red oaks, Garry oaks, Nootka cypresses, Sitka spruce, and maples.

Alberts said the goal of the grove is to leave a legacy for a hundred years.

Funding was provided by donations from individuals, families, businesses, and community groups, Alberts said.

READ MORE: Fort Langley Memory Grove opens

Asked how he felt about seeing the first trees of a new phase of Memory Grove being planted, Alberts said he felt “Tree-mendous!”

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