Over 300 hectares of land is being added to the Burns Bog Conservation Area.
On Tuesday morning (Sept. 22), the City of Delta announced five land parcels totalling 321 hectares (793 acres) were being added to the conservation area after many years of effort and collaboration between several key players, led by the City of Delta and Metro Vancouver, with input and co-operation from both the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
“The addition of these lands to the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area is another positive step towards Delta’s commitment to restore and preserve Burns Bog for future generations. The bog plays an integral role in our ecosystem and environment and is treasured by residents of not only our community, but the entire region,” Mayor George Harvie said in a press release.
The newly-added lands are jointly owned by the City of Delta and Metro Vancouver and will be maintained and operated in a manner consistent with the rest of the properties already under protection.
One of the properties being added is the Delta Nature Reserve, which will remain the only publicly-accessible portion of Burns Bog but will now be managed as part of the conservation area.
“Greenspaces are central to our region’s character — they protect sensitive ecosystems from development pressure and gives us places to connect with nature, de-stress and breathe fresh air. Our long-time partnership with the City of Delta to expand and protect Burns Bog truly helps us to protect the natural beauty of our region through the Regional Parks Land Acquisition Strategy for the benefit of current and future generations,” John McEwen, chair of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks committee, said in a press release.
Located in Delta, the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area is one of the world’s largest protected natural areas, spanning over 2,400 hectares (5,930 acres). Burns Bog is globally unique because of its chemistry, form, flora and large size and is an important contributor to the ecology of the entire region.
Historically, the land was previously used for peat mining and farming, which resulted in a slow devastation to the bog. Identifying the need for its protection, the City of Delta, in collaboration with Metro Vancouver and senior levels of government, acquired the initial 2,042 hectares of land in 2004.
To further solidify the multi-level government commitment to the preservation of Burns Bog, the City of Delta, Metro Vancouver, as well as the respective federal and provincial ministries responsible for the environment signed a binding conservation covenant agreement confirming the importance of protecting these valued lands.
Since then — and previous to Tuesday’s announcement — another 435 hectares of bog have been added to the protected area, allowing approximately 87 per cent of Burns Bog to be preserved and managed as a natural ecosystem.
“As the world’s largest protected bog within an urban setting, Burns Bog produces oxygen for us to breathe, provides an important stopover for hundreds of bird species along the Pacific Flyway, and is home to many endangered species year-round. A healthy bog can also sequester and store thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year,” Sav Dhaliwal, chair of Metro Vancouver’s board of directors, said in a press release.
“Metro Vancouver and the City of Delta are collaborating on extensive restoration efforts at the bog to significantly enhance this ecological service as a key part of our efforts to maintain corporate carbon neutral status and make the region more resilient to climate change.”
As part of Tuesday’s announcement, the City of Delta said it is committed to exploring more opportunities to include additional properties in the Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area.