People ask me why I am so passionate about saving Burns Bog. There are several reasons.
When I was twelve, my brother destroyed a pond while turning a cow pasture into a grain field. When my mother looked out the kitchen window and saw the destruction, she exclaimed, “Where will the mother duck go? If your father were alive he would never let that happen.” Every year a mother duck nested that pond’s edge until her ducklings hatched. The first person to see her marching her ducklings across our farmyard to the creek would shout “stop!” We would all pause as she waddled her way majestically across the farmyard. We looked forward to this ritual. I have never forgotten my mother’s horror at the destruction of the pond.
Later on, when I was a struggling single mom, I promised myself that I would return the favours of all the people who helped me to succeed at university and become a contributing member of society. My work to save Burns Bog has gone beyond Delta. Burns Bog was recognized as an internationally significant wetland when it became part of the Fraser River Ramsar site in 2012.
But my biggest reason is that I have been to the centre of the bog. It has taken over my life like sphagnum moss takes over a pond or lake. There is a First Nations story where spirits lure women to the centre of the Bog and they are changed forever. Perhaps it’s my Native American ancestry that led me to return my gratitude to the community by working to save Burns Bog and other peatlands. I don’t know. This I do know. Once you discover the many wonders of Burns Bog it fills your life.
Did you know that sphagnum moss was here in the days of the dinosaurs? It holds up to 20 times its weight in water. Burns Bog stores 10 times more carbon than tropical rain forests! That’s why it is called a carbon sink.
I could go on forever about all the fascinating things that Burns Bog does for us. These are just a few. I invite you to join me on my journey to keep Burns Bog safe for all those children, and the young at heart, just waiting to discover the wonders of Burns Bog.