Long-time Langley residents Ann Blaauw and her adult children, John, Janet and Jennifer, recently donated 2.5 million dollars to Trinity Western University allowing the school the means to purchase a 25-acre parcel of Glen Valley forest from the Township of Langley. Blaauw, the Township of Langley, and TWU have entered into an agreement to see the land protected from future development. Instead, it will be used as an educational resource for faculty and students of the Natural and Environmental Science departments at the university.
The deal was announced on September 11 with the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting taking place on September 24.
The event featured speeches by Langley mayor Jack Froese and TWU interim president Bob Kuhn, had acknowledgements made to its historic Stó:lō territory and saw a turnout of many local conservation groups, residents, and students.
The Glen Valley land parcel is covered in dense forest, has a network of deer and man-made trails that wind through Douglas fir trees, which are known to be popular among local residents who are happy to see the plot preserved.
Professor and Coordinator of Environmental Studies, David Clements, and environmental science student, Curtis Abney, plan to close off certain problem trails that lead to sensitive habitat.
Abney discovered two endangered species while doing his thesis work on the property: the Northern Red-legged Frog and the Pacific Sideband snail. He explains that these findings re-establish the need to protect vital wildlife habitats in the Fraser Valley region.
The property was to be sold by the Township for the development of a new community centre, ice rink and public pool in Aldergrove, until Blaauw approached TWU in early spring about adopting it for the ethical planning and management of its resources.
Blaauw and her late husband, Thomas, were frequent visitors of the land; they came to love the serene, peaceful qualities that the forest possessed and, to the family, it will stand as a memory of him.