Langley man helped create future green thumbs

The rain stopped early in the morning, then the clouds parted and the spirit of Bruce Van Garderen shone down on Langley Meadows Community School on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Van Garderen, who co-founded Maples Discovery Garden and was a key driver in introducing Langley Meadows’ older students to gardening over the past few years, died from cancer this past April.

He was 64.

During an afternoon ceremony on Nov. 4, with Van Garderen’s family members as well as Jean Moir’s 3/4/5 class looking on, Langley Meadows dedicated its school gardens in Van Garderen’s memory.

Over a four-year period, Van Garderen partnered with Grade 7 teacher Lori Villeneuve to introduce the Langley Meadows students to the Nature’s Class program, and to Maples Discovery Gardens Co-op.  

In fact, noted his daughter Elsabee Lyon, Van Garderen helped implement the Nature’s Class in many schools in Langley starting with Langley Meadows, as his grandchildren attended that school.  

“He was also Langley Environmental Hero in 2010,” Lyon added.  

The garden, built by Langley School District workers this past winter, is now called “Bruce’s Discovery Garden.”

Lettuce, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, kale, green onions, strawberries, parsley, and daffodils have been grown at the garden since it was first constructed.

During the dedication, Van Garderen’s wife Ridi said, “This was his passion. He started the whole program.”

Villeneuve, who now teaches at Yorkson Creek Middle School, said Van Garderen’s ability to make gardening both fun and educational had a positive and lasting impact on students.

“Holding a tomato was more empowering than any math lesson you can ever teach them,” Villeneuve said.

As part of the ceremony a young tree was planted at the garden in Van Garderen’s memory.

“Bruce loved to garden, loved to talk to kids about plants,” Langley Meadows principal Vanessa Jaggi said. “Every time we go out to the garden, Bruce will be with us there.”

Just Posted

Championship action kicks off tonight at Langley Events Centre

Giants prepare to do battle in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Friday on home ice

PHOTOS: Langley RCMP volunteers ‘represent the best of our community’

Dozens were honoured Thursday night during the 27th annual Langley RCMP’s volunteer dinner

Langley MP describes most recent diagnosis as a ‘miracle’

Tory Member of Parliament Mark Warawa doesn’t have pancreatic cancer, but operable colon cancer

Langley Advance Times Community Calendar: April 18, 2019, edition

• Submit Langley events to: news@langleyadvancetimes.com (Subject: Community Calendar)

Langley runner George Ellenwood gets major sponsorship

Agreement with Under Armour will provide heptathlete star with precisely-engineered athletic shoes.

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Crews battle Burnaby blaze; 2 people sent to hospital

Emergency Support Services helping residents displaced by fire

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read