Written/Photographed by: Alyssa Lait
Have you ever been to Campbell Valley Regional Park? If not, I would highly recommend it as a day trip at some point. It features kilometres of trails, including flat, wheelchair accessible paths, such as the Little River Loop and the Perimeter Trail. There is even the Shaggy Mane Trail: 11km of combined equestrian and hiking trail. The park has various entrances off 200th street, near 16th avenue.
While exploring the park there is plenty to see, from plants to wildlife. Fortunately for you, there is even a place you can learn more about the ecology of the park! That would be the Campbell Valley Nature House, located at the Red Barn near the Annand/Rowlatt Farmstead, open on Wednesdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm, and weekends from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. I visited the park with Langley Volunteers member and long-time volunteer for the Nature House, Sylvia Anderson.
When I arrived at the nature house, I was impressed by the condition of the barn. It was recently renovated to become the home of the Nature House facility, and thanks to the work of dedicated volunteers, it was looking great both inside and out.
Once inside, I was greeted with various exhibits that featured the animals and plants that could be found in the park, and in Langley as a whole. This included stations for children and families to explore together, such as a station to dissect sterilized owl pellets, filled with different types of bones to identify, a weekly craft, and games themed around learning more about the wildlife in the park.
With the help of the hosts-the volunteers at the Nature House-I went through the various stations and filled out a passport. I particularly enjoyed identifying the bird silhouettes that decorate the walls of the barn, and flipping through the wealth of information about plants that they have collected in a binder for guest use. The hosts also pointed me towards a list of some events coming up in the park, such as a Farmstead History Tour in mid-July, nature walks in August and visiting speakers that come directly to the Nature House.
So how can you help at the Nature House?
- Host responsibilities include providing information about the park, greeting guests at the Nature House, and answering their questions about the displays.
- Hosts work in pairs, so you can gain knowledge by working with your co-host.
- If you’re interested in volunteering here, be prepared for three-hour shifts when the Nature House is open.
For more information about getting involved, either email Sylvia at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (604) 530-4983, or visit the Nature House in person.