Partnership Produces Unique Bridge Panels

The artistic and writing talents of Walnut Grove students and the knowledge and history of Kwantlen First Nation have come together in unique interpretive panels that can be enjoyed by those visiting a place of environmental significance.

The panels have been installed by the Township of Langley in McClughan Park, at 91 Avenue and 206 Street, on the boardwalk bridge that spans the Yorkson Creek ravine.

On October 4, the colourful signage was officially unveiled by the partners involved.

“This was a really unique partnership and an excellent community initiative that combined student involvement, First Nations input, and environmental education,” said Al Neufeld, Township Deputy Director of Public Spaces and Community Initiatives. “The result is eye-catching and informative panels that can be enjoyed by everyone who visits this area.”

The panels, which provide information on the animals, vegetation, ecosystem, and cultural history of the ravine and surrounding area, were created by Grade 4 and 5 students in Victoria Woelders’ class at Dorothy Peacock Elementary School.

The project got its start two years ago, as the students were studying in the area. McClughan Park is a short walk away from the school, and the children had been learning about the Coho and Chum salmon, crayfish, barred owls, lamprey, and other creatures and plants that call the area home.

The bridge that crosses Yorkson Creek is used by both students from Dorothy Peacock and Gordon Greenwood Elementary, and by the community, and the children came up with the idea to enhance it. The class brainstormed ideas and last spring they connected with staff in the Township of Langley’s Parks Design and Development Department.

Deciding to pursue interpretative panels, each student picked a topic relating to the ravine, did research, wrote paragraphs, and created artwork.

Fern Gabriel from the Kwantlen First Nation, who teaches language classes at Dorothy Peacock Elementary, translated words for the panels, which the Township has mounted on the bridge.

“The students loved learning and researching about the different living things down in our beautiful park,” said Woelders. “These panels celebrate our Indigenous people groups of Langley, our precious environment, and our local community.”

The Dorothy Peacock students, who are now in Grade 6 and 7, joined teacher Victoria Woelders, members of Kwantlen First Nation, members of Township of Langley Council and Township staff, and Langley School District representatives on October 4 for a ceremony to unveil the panels.

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