Some of the damage caused by partiers who trashed the Langley Forest School over the March 20, 2021 weekend (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Some of the damage caused by partiers who trashed the Langley Forest School over the March 20, 2021 weekend (Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Vandals trash Langley Forest School

Partiers ‘knocked everything over that they could’ at non-profit outdoor school

Some time between Friday night, March 19, and Sunday morning March 21, some people decided to use the outdoor classroom of the Langley Forest School in Williams Park for a party.

Later that day, Carol LaJeunesse, president of the school’s board of directors, and teacher Laureen Mahe-Klaassen were preparing to call out volunteers to help undo the damage.

“They basically went into our school and turned it upside down,” a frustrated Mahe-Klaasen told the Langley Advance Times.

“They knocked everything over that they could,” LaJeunesse remarked.

“Some of it will have to be repaired.”

Whoever was responsible left behind garbage that included discarded drinks and other evidence of a party.

“It’s emotionally devastating,” LaJeunesse commented.

“How do people do stuff like that, and not think about all the little kids?”

READ MORE: Forest school children learn by playing outdoors

The school’s mud kitchen, made from donated pallets and wood, was overturned.

A backpack rack, made from branches found in the forest or donated by families, was upended and damaged as well.

Several benches were flipped off their bases.

“We are an environmental stewardship school so we don’t buy new – mostly the staff and families work hard to source fallen trees to make table slabs and stool stumps, and items that are discarded,” LaJeunesse explained.

“The kids turn them into magical play spaces with their imaginations.”

In dollar terms, the damage is not that expensive, LaJeunesse estimated, but repairing the vandalism will take many hours.

Police are investigating.

The Langley Forest School program, tucked away in a corner of Williams Park, is a partnership between the children’s parents and the Township of Langley.

Children who take part in the non-profit “play-based school” spend almost the entire day outdoors learning about nature and the environment, with the teacher and the adults in the classroom acting as research assistants.

“Children are encouraged to self-regulate, choosing to eat when they’re hungry or add or remove clothing if uncomfortable,” the website explains. “Self-reliance and resilience are fostered.”

It is the first school of it’s kind in the Fraser Valley, operating five days a week for children ages three to five.

READ ALSO: Focus on environment at the Forest School

At the moment, 80 families have children attending the school.

The yurt at the centre of the learning area escaped serious damage, and so did the shed alongside the yurt that houses a composting toilet.

Anyone in a position to help replace or repair the wood fixtures is invited to contact the school through the website at or their Facebook page,

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Essie Boelema, a 17-year-old lavender farmer, is passionate about the plant. (Screenshot/Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Langley lavender growers say season soon to be in full bloom

Family-owned farm marks five years by preparing for a summer of sales, tours, and growth

Mounties say they “corralled” four Ford Mustangs April 4 after an officer saw the muscle cars racing down 184 Street near 53 Avenue at about 10 p.m. (File Photo)
Mounties impound four Mustangs

Surrey RCMP say they seized four cars for street racing

Work was underway on the interior of the new Tennis Centre location in Langley. Popularity of the sport has risen during the pandemic (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Tennis business expands into Langley

‘Busiest we’ve ever been’ says manager

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Parliament Hill is viewed below a Canada flag in Gatineau, Quebec, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians are feeling more grateful for what they have in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

2019 report shows Canada emitted about one million tonnes more of these gases than the previous year

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

Most Read