Updated: Sep 13
Written by Stephanie Steves Warren, DRBIPA Treasurer & Park Ambassador
September 3, 2023
It all began with the call of the Sandhill Cranes, ducks, and a beautiful spot on a trail. Park users would walk often through the Houston Trail at Derby Reach, near the Heritage area, hearing the calls of the local waterfowl and birds. And longing for a view; as you could not see much through the brush and trees. Many unique species of flora, fauna, and wildlife live within both the Langley Bog and its neighbouring fens.
Langley Field Naturalists, park enthusiasts, and fellow DRBIPA Directors on the Board were looking for an answer to: how can we view and learn of the local wildlife within the waterways, without causing a disturbance to its delicate ecosystem?
Well, a nice spot on the trail with a bit of an inlet provided an idea for a viewing platform. After a visit to a few other local parks in Metro Van, looking at accessible features, photos of walkways and boardwalks, and due to much time and dedication of previous Board Member, Anne Gosse, our idea began to take shape. The architectural design was given free by the Township of Langley via the Rotary Club. After fundraising from the Rotary Club and Pacific Parklands Foundation – and two long years of construction with help from park association volunteers and members alike – the Viewing Platform was completed in 2017!
Years later, upon a lovely "moss and other bryophytes" walk guided by Phil Henderson in fall of 2022, myself and fellow members stopped for a view at the platform. There was a red tailed hawk upon a tree branch in the distance near the Bog. Too far away to see much detail, luckily Phil had a set of binoculars with him, spawning the idea for our new addition to the platform: a dual access binocular viewer! I was happy to take on this project for the park association and we started looking into the idea. What a wonderful way to experience the many natural facets of our local wetlands and encourage use of the viewing platform park feature. Wheelchair accessible, with two viewing heads, this new addition can be enjoyed by all ages and with two users at once.
The Binocular’s Big Reveal will take place Sunday September 24, at Derby Reach Park Day! Bring your family for a stroll at the Heritage Area, taste a sample of our heritage apples, go for a guided walk along the Houston Trail. Pay a visit to the viewing platform, and see what you can spot with the new feature. We hope you love it as much as we do!