The history of Derby Reach is significant for many reasons. Not only is Derby Ranch an early Kwantlen settlement area, but it is also home to the site of the Hudson Bay Company’s first permanent settlement within present day B.C. in 1827.
On this site, the first Fort Langley was established. In 1858, the Royal Engineers of Fort Langley planted an orchard in Derby Ranch – The Heritage Farmstead!
Derby Reach Regional Park opened to the public in 1976, and ever since visitors have been flocking to this Regional Park to enjoy a view that practically transports you back in time!
But a changing habitat threatens the biodiversity of this gorgeous land…
Due to the rapid urbanization occurring in Langley, preserving biodiversity and local habitats is becoming increasingly more challenging. A large decrease in farmland and natural ecosystems, as well as the impact of invasive species means risking losing our precious heritage apple trees planted in 1858 (remember?)!
Apple-Lovers to the Rescue
To preserve these rare species of apples and the genetic biodiversity that remains within them, Pacific Parklands Foundation teamed up with Vancity as well as the local Park Association to create the Brea Island Heritage Apple Orchard!
Along with our helpful partners we helped create a thriving orchard by rescuing old trees and propagating new ones! This environment now serves as a much-needed winter habitat for park mammals such as deer and birds.
To celebrate the achievement of preserving this necessary habitat, the community comes together for a family-oriented festival at Derby Ranch known as Heritage Apple Day!
What is Heritage Apple Day?
Heritage Apple Day celebrates the role apples and orchards have played in the settlement of Langley area. In fact, you can still see the remnants of the original heritage trees!
Through the generosity of our donors, Pacific Parkland Foundation has provided a grant for this event of $2,500; a grant Pacific Parkland Foundation has contributed for the past several years.
Celebrate with us by sampling a variety of delicious apples (pun intended) – some varieties of which have not been commonly grown in decades!
Other fun activities you can expect at Heritage Apple day include exploring old-fashioned chores, educational events, and historical re-enactments! Find a smile planted on your face while fiddlers, artists, and historians set the backdrop for a special day!
How Do I Get Involved?
The preservation and protection of the Heritage Apple Orchard is due to the commitment of the community. Just show up! This 2016 events will be the 12th Heritage Apple Day celebration!
Another way to support the preservation of an important habitat is to become a Park Champion. All proceeds go towards enhancing a preserving the natural beauty and ecosystems of our natural green space in greater Metro Vancouver.
Where and When?
11am – 2pm
Sat October 1st, 2016
Derby Reach Regional Park