TWU joins in to honour bog donors

Former TWU Geography student Kaysha Vandergugten studies the Langley Bog.

On September 17th, Trinity Western University will be celebrating with the Pacific Parklands Foundation and numerous members of the local community including the Martini Family and the Township of Langley, at the official transfer and kick-off ceremonies for the Langley Bog Stewardship Project. This marks an exciting time for TWU as it also highlights TWU's connection to the bog through its Langley Bog Research Project.

Four TWU faculty are involved in the project, and in partnership and support from Pacific Parklands Foundation (PPF), Metro Vancouver, the Langley Bog Committee, and the Township of Langley, TWU researchers will be using the bog as an outdoor laboratory, gathering biophysical data and mapping ecological variables in an effort to gain a spatial perspective of the bog.

Essentially a water-saturated mat of vegetation, bogs have been historically mined for peat. The Langley Bog was mined for over 28 years leaving the ground with new channels and ridges. Originally the bog was over 1300 acres but later 75% of it was converted into cranberry fields, 15% of it was mined for peat moss, and now only 10% remains as undisturbed bog forest. TWU researchers will study the bog, gather data and ask specific questions such as: What was the exact phasing of peat mining and how has it impacted vegetation regeneration? What are current states of important bog health characteristics and what corrective measure still need to be focused on? How do the ecological elements of the bog landscape interact spatially?

Besides using the bog as an outdoor laboratory, TWU students may help in restoration and education projects designed to aid the public in understanding how vital this unusual ecosystem is. Bogs may sometimes go unnoticed but are home to beautiful and fascinating plants (such as the carnivorous sundew) and they play an integral role in absorbing pollution, releasing oxygen and cooling the atmosphere. The Langley Bog is also home to the Sandhill Crane a species considered to be at risk. Those involved with the Langley Bog Research Project are hoping that through studying the bog the land will once again be returned to full ecological health.

In summarizing the importance of this project, TWU Associate Professor Paul Brown says, "The bog presents a great opportunity for our students to experience research and get involved in conservation projects. It is a chance for all of us to learn more about what it takes to preserve and restore this special kind of environment. And it is also a real benefit to work with other partners and to have this project right here in our community."

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C. is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 40 major areas of study ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology and leadership, and offers interdisciplinary studies in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Biblical Studies, Biology and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.



Last Updated: 2008-09-15
Author: Erin Mussolum