Derby Reach Brae Island Park Association’s ambassador team helped construct and maintain wattle walls to prevent soil erosion. (Langley Advance Times files)

Derby Reach Brae Island Park Association’s ambassador team helped construct and maintain wattle walls to prevent soil erosion. (Langley Advance Times files)

Volunteers needed for a three-day Langley Bog clean-up project

Derby Reach and Brae Island Park Association urges community to preserve this cherished eco system

Consisting of 70 acres of bog forest, 200 acres of mined bog, and two bog meadows, the Langley Bog covers a large portion of Derby Reach Regional Park.

The area is closed off from public access for safety and preservation purposes.

However, Derby Reach and Brae Island Park Association (DRBIPA) has been approved for special access to complete “necessary” restoration and conservation work in the bog, said Roxci Bevis, volunteer and program coordinator.

Under the Langley Bog restoration cleanup project, 80 volunteers removed about five tonnes of debris from the bog area in 2021. Though it was wet and rainy last year, Bevis said volunteers had a great time giving back to nature.

“We got rid of plastic, tires, metal waste, treated wood – but there is more to do,” commented Bevis.

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This time, too, the association is looking for volunteers to work in groups to remove more plastic, rubber, and treated wood. And, if the time permits, Bevis said the team might also remove invasive Himalayan blackberries to prevent further encroachment into the bog area.

Talking about the ecological significance of bogs, Bevis mentioned that it is believed that bog moss has the ability to absorb and hold accumulated carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere.

Highlighting the need to restore the wetlands, Bevis said it takes thousands of years for a wetland to form, but once destroyed, it is gone forever.

“As the planet continues to warm due to high levels of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere, protecting and restoring wetlands, such as the Langley bog, is more important than ever,” she said.

Bevis further emphasized that Langley has only one bog, and “it is definitely worth protecting.”

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Only registered volunteers are allowed to participate in the three-day clean-up event, which starts on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Since there is a lot of walking on uneven terrain involved, Bevis said volunteers would need to wear sturdy closed-toe boots, long sleeves tops and pants for safety reasons.

To register for the clean up, people can email their details to outreach@drbipa.org.

The DRBIPA restoration committee monitors projects within the Langley Bog in collaboration with Metro Vancouver Regional Parks, Trinity Western University, BCIT, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Later this year, DRBIPA will host its annual Heritage Apple Day, hosting its 17th annual event in the park, celebrating the unique history and agriculture of the Derby Reach area.

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Is there more to the story? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

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