Langford, Arthur N.

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Langford, Arthur N.

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1910-2007

History

Born in Ingersoll, Ontario on July 30, 1910, Dr. Arthur N. Langford spent most of his boyhood in Simcoe before going to Queen’s University in Kingston for his Honours B. A. in Biology and Chemistry (1931) and then to the University of Toronto for his M. A. in Botany (1933) and his Ph. D. in Plant Pathology (1936). After these studies, he became the first Professor of Biology at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, and remained there until his retirement in 1976, except for visiting appointments in Wisconsin, New Jersey and California. He followed this with a four-year teaching assignment in Swaziland for the Canadian International Development Agency. After his return to Canada, he remained active in various environmental organizations until his death in Simcoe on February 9, 2007.

Dr. Langford discovered the Johnville peat bog - now an integral part of the Johnville Bog and Forest Park - on September 13, 1937, the day after his arrival in the Eastern Townships. At that time, the only real interest in the site was that it furnished drinking water to the town of Lennoxville with natural spring water gushing from the esker. He immediately recognized the ecological and geomorphological value of the site as well as the wonderful outdoor laboratory that it provided. From then on, he made regular visits to the bog with his students. A visionary, scientist and Professor Emeritus, he made the Johnville peat bog a popular attraction for birdwatchers, botanists and other nature lovers from the region and around the
world. Dr. Langford was committed to the protection and preservation of the environment and to the need to instill these values in others, particularly the younger generations. The Johnville peat bog was one of his preferred places, and it is most fitting to name his favourite pond in his memory.

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