Tako van Popta (R) points out some of the 500 free seedlings that he and Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) gave away in about 15 minutes on Saturday, June 5 in the parking lot of the Langley Home Depot. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Tako van Popta (R) points out some of the 500 free seedlings that he and Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) gave away in about 15 minutes on Saturday, June 5 in the parking lot of the Langley Home Depot. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Annual Langley free tree giveaway distributes 500 seedlings in 15 minutes

MP Tako van Popta continues tradition begun by late MP Mark Warawa

People started lining up well before the free tree giveaway got underway in Langley on Saturday afternoon, June 5.

When it began at 2 p.m., it took about 15 minutes for Langley-Aldergrove Conservative MP Tako van Popta and members of the Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS) to hand out 500 seedlings, a mix of Evergreen Huckleberries and Pacific Crabapples.

Handouts explained both trees are native to B.C.

The Pacific Crabapple is the only apple tree native to the province and can attract pollinators like the mason bee, while the Evergreen Huckleberry attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators.

Saturday’s giveaway was a continuation of the annual tradition started by the late MP Mark Warawa who distributed native seedlings more than a decade ago and now taken over by van Popta, who used to assist Warawa with his distribution.

van Popta was pleased to see the lineup stretching across the parking lot in the Home Depot parking lot off 200th Street.

“It’s very popular,” van Popta told the Langley Advance Times.

“Getting a lot of people out here to do their part to keep the planet green.”

READ ALSO: Langley-Aldergrove MP partners with LEPS for annual seedling giveaway

Late last month, van Popta rose in the House of Commons to announce this year’s giveaway, saying the number of trees being planted may not be as much as the millions the Liberal government keeps promising to plant, without actually planting, but “our trees are real trees that will absorb greenhouse gases.”

The Langley event marked the last day of Canadian Environment Week, to celebrate nature, protect biodiversity, and learn about Canada’s landscape.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Battling invading plants in Langley

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan announced Friday that 30 million trees will be planted this season out of the two billion his government promised over the next 10 years during the 2019 federal election campaign.

That goal will see Canada plant an extra 200 million trees each year, which the government says will eventually help sequester carbon.

Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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