A scaled-back World Rivers Day at Langley’s Williams Park drew 300 people on Sunday, Sept. 24, more than the 200 expected for the annual celebration of the world’s waterways.
Following a two-year COVID shutdown, Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) brought back Rivers Day last year, on a smaller scale after the Township bowed out, at the park where the Salmon River runs.
Rivers Day is underway at Williams Park in Langley pic.twitter.com/dfFSKuzRU7— Langley Advance Times (@LangleyTimes) September 24, 2023
LEPS executive director Nichole Marples was pleased with the turnout.
“We had definitely more attendees then we had the year before,” she noted.
“I’m happy with the event. Obviously, the weather helped – we had rain before, and rain came after, so that was really helpful.”
She gave a “just a huge shout out to all of our community partners that came and set up their displays. You know, without them, there isn’t an event.”
For three hours, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., there were educational booths from Metro Vancouver, Parks Canada, and other agencies on the upper and lower levels of the park, with several local societies including the Langley Explore Science Club and the West Creek Awareness Group campaigning against development in Gloucester Industrial Park.
Rivers Day is underway at Williams Park in Langley pic.twitter.com/aCSkFmGPeb— Langley Advance Times (@LangleyTimes) September 24, 2023
There was a gold panning demonstration by professional gold panner Dan Moore, better known as “Yukon Dan,” as well as a chance to take a picture sitting in a fish and wildlife patrol vehicle, along with face painting, and free snacks at the park.
Held on the fourth Sunday of September in more than 100 countries, World Rivers Day is the international version of B.C. Rivers Day, founded in 1980 by river advocate Mark Angelo, then expanded by the United Nations as part of the Water for Life Decade that began in 2005.
LEPS was founded in 1993, when Township of Langley staffer Peter Scales convened a small group of community-oriented individuals to form a non-profit society that could provide local green jobs, utilize volunteers, and build community-oriented partnerships to conserve the streams and natural areas of Langley.
More information about LEPS can be found online at www.leps.bc.ca.