Langley Field Naturalists are heading out on a walk along the Houston Trail in Derby Reach Regional Park – through north Langley – again in March. They made a recent trek there in February. (Lilianne Fuller/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Spring-like weather is drawing Langleyites outdoors

Langley Field Naturalists have a series of walking and hiking events planned in March and April

Langley Field Naturalists is welcoming spring with a series of field trips in March and April that are aimed at getting people outdoors in nature.

Throughout the year, club members who are experts in their various fields offer almost weekly guided field trips. These are open to club members as well as the general public, explained said club president Lisa Dreves.

This month, for instance, there are three outings on the books. It starts tomorrow (Saturday, March 7) with a visit Latimer Park, then there’s a trip to the Houston Trail in Derby Reach, and the George Reifel Bird Sanctuary.

During Saturday’s adventure, running from 9 a.m. until noon, participants will be accompany local birder John Gordon on a walk-through Latimer Park and Stokes Pit.

“Enjoy the natural world coming to life in the early spring. There will be wildflowers, catkins, and possibly the first swallows,” Dreves said.

Those wishing to join in are asked to meet in the park at 19258 28th Ave. Parking is available along 28th Avenue. To find out more, or to RSVP, people can call 604-533-7171.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

Coming up next weekend, the naturalist will visit the Houston Trail in Derby Reach Regional Park to look at Birds and Bryophytes (little mosses and their relatives, tiny but beautiful plants that flourish in moist, shady sites).

This popular walk rusn 9 a.m. to noon.

Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars, and meet at the Houston Trail parking lot on Allard Crescent. For more information, or to RSVP for that event, call 604-888-1571.

Later this month there’s a journey planned to Delta.

The club is heading out to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on March 21, again with a 9 a.m. start.

“Signs of spring will abound with a chorus of bird song, early swallows, and the fragrance of bursting cottonwood buds.”

Participants are asked to bring lunch and dress warmly. There is a $5 fee for non-members on this trip, and there is a senior’s rate. Again, more details and RSVP available by calling 604-219-2043.

In April, the club will be hosting its Langley Field Naturalists and Friends Celebrate Earth Day event, and in the meantime, there are a number of other outings planned, including a visit Brydon Lagoon and neighbouring High Knoll Park on April 4, a journey to Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge April 11, and awalk the 8th Avenue Trail on Friday, April 17.

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A CLUB FOCUSED ON ACTION

Langley Field Naturalists was incorporated as a society in 1980. Since its inception the organization’s motto has been “to know nature and to keep it worth knowing.”

Towards that end, the society has also worked on numerous restoration endeavours including Brydon Lagoon, Dreves explained.

“It was the Langley Field Naturalists who helped establish Brydon Lagoon as a nature park,” she said.

Other club activities include helping maintain the various community trails and installing nest boxes for birds. The club also helps in upkeep of the Forsland-Watson property, in conjunction with the provincial government’s ministry of the environment.

The naturalists are also offering activities specific to youth. Young people, under the guidance of qualified volunteers, have the opportunity to observe the natural world in interactive and fun settings, Dreves said.

In fact, the 80-member club works closely with Langley schools to provide nature walks for the students and in the past two years has expanded to offer educational presentations at the Langley City library.

Membership chair Sheila Puls explained that membership in the club means automatic connections province-wide with like-minded individuals.

“Membership in the club includes a membership with BC Nature, the Federation of BC Naturalists, comprised of more than 50 clubs province wide,” Puls said. “In addition to receiving the club newsletter and BC Nature magazine, members become part of a network of naturalists throughout B.C. This offers the opportunity to participate in all activities of BC Nature including meetings and conferences, camps, interpretive walks and access to a wealth of nature knowledge.”

For more information about the Langley Field Naturalists, people can also visit their website.

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