Area students learn about Burns Bog by ‘Stepping into Nature’

The Burns Bog Conservation Society held its second annual Stepping into Nature festival at the Delta Nature Reserve Oct. 10-13.

Students at the Burns Bog Conservation Society’s Stepping into Nature festival collect bug samples from Lower Cougar Creek. The creek’s bug inhabitants determine the health of the salmon-bearing creek.

The Burns Bog Conservation Society held its second annual Stepping into Nature festival at the Delta Nature Reserve Oct. 10-13. More than 350 Grade 6 and 7 students from Delta and Surrey unplugged and spent a day exploring the bog while learning about its ecosystem, conservation, and what role they can play in its management.

“Our vision is a future with environmentally connected and conscious citizens,” said the society’s education coordinator, Evelyne Young. “This can only be achieved once youth step away from their urban activities and technology long enough to realize the importance of protecting our most prized possession: nature.”

Through hands-on activities at eight curriculum-based stations, the students connected with nature, practiced leadership skills and learned about their environment. For example, students discovered that the health of salmon-bearing waterways can be measured by looking at its bug populations.

Darren from Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society (right) tells kids all about animal biodiversity at the "Wild by Nature" station. Photo credit: Aliya Khan/Burns Bog Conservation Society

Darren from Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society (right) tells kids all about animal biodiversity at the “Wild by Nature” station. Photo credit: Aliya Khan/Burns Bog Conservation Society

“Salmon depend on a new generation of stewards stepping up for their conservation!” stated a representative from the Pacific Salmon Foundation, who, along with the Gosling Foundation, Vancity and Save-on-Foods, provided funding and support for the festival. “[We’re] very proud we could support this excellent event.”

In preparation for this event, local environmental organizations Cougar Creek Streamkeepers, Earthwise Society, Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society, and Fraser River Discovery Centre helped train and mentor Grade 10 STRIVE leadership stu- dents from South Delta Secondary, who in turn gave informative and interactive lessons to the younger students.

Eight hundred students were on a waitlist to attend the Stepping into Nature festival, and the society hopes to expand this education event in the coming years.