If you live near or in Vancouver then you understand the importance of having urban natural areas. Not only do these areas provide ecological protection, but they offer a peaceful moment for city-dwellers. Sometimes it’s exhausting to get caught up in urban-life, sitting through hours of traffic – or in my case, the bus – to sit indoors for an entire day only to return home and battle the commute once again. Areas such as the Camosun Bog, located in the Pacific Spirit Regional Park, are a great place to relax and learn about one of Vancouver’s hard-fought natural spaces. Although winter has arrived, being well-prepared with a hot chocolate filled Thermos and a camera is an ideal afternoon in any weather!
The planning of the Camosun Bog restoration began in the early 90’s when the bog began deteriorating until nearly disappearing. Luckily, in 1996 the Camosun Bog Restoration Group (or more commonly known as the “Crazy Boggers”) began working to save the bog. The main issue with the bog was the low summer water table which allowed non-bog and invasive species to enter into the ecosystem. Moreover, during the winter of 1990-91 a project intending to minimize the summer water deficit removed 150 hemlock trees which opened up opportunities for invasive species such as birch, which has now been completely removed as a part of the restoration.
A major part of the restoration was the re-establishment of the bogs natural habitat, especially in sphagnum moss (often referred to as peat moss). Sphagnum moss is essential for water retention and water deficit management since both living and dead plants can store large amounts of water in their cells. During the restoration, it was estimated that approximately one-quarter of the area already had mounds of sphagnum moss but were surrounded by areas of non-bog species. With the help of students and volunteers, many sphagnum plugs were planted in cleared invasive species areas and was found to be very successful in the restoration.
Currently, the bog is close to being completely restored and it represents a successful conservation project through hard-work and determination. If you would like to read more on the Camosun Bog Restoration, click here.
If you live in the lower mainland and are feeling creative this weekend you should consider taking your camera out for a stroll around the Camosun Bog! There’s something that I love about the look of snow on trees and this past Wednesdays mini snow storm might make for some stunning winter bog-shots! If you happen to capture some must-share photos, add them to our Wetlands of British Columbia Flickr group. You will have the chance to be our December Photo of the Month, so check in again at the BogBlog next Friday to see our winner!