Business Number: 129166682RR0001

About This Charity

Our Vision:

  • Protecting and sustaining Burns Bog now and in the future.
  • Recognition that Burns Bog is “the lungs of the Lower Mainland” and contributes greatly towards quality of life in our community.


Mission Statement:

  • Educating the public on the importance of Burns Bog and the world’s peatlands.
  • Providing opportunities for the public to interact with the Burns Bog environment.
  • Ensuring sustainable, ecologically sound management and governance of Burns Bog and other peatlands.
  • Contributing to the community and enhancing community health, through collective participation in the conservation of Burns Bog.
  • Protecting and sustaining Burns Bog as a model for other peatlands.
  • Maintaining continuous vigilance over the management of Burns Bog and actions that may have a harmful effect.
  • Promoting public access to Burns Bog.


Core Values:

  • Maintaining a community of trust through transparency and openness.
  • Respecting our donors, members, staff, sponsors, volunteers and the broader community.
  • Gratitude for donors, members, staff, sponsors and volunteers.
  • Open to possibilities: having a “How can I?” attitude towards achieving our goals.


Why is the work of the Society necessary?

Too few children and adults are aware of the role that peatlands play in climate change.

  • The cheapest way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere is to save peatlands. (UN 2007)
  • “In spite of their importance, peatlands are barely mentioned in standard texts on global warming or emissions scenarios.” Dr. Joseph Holden, School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK, 2004.
  • Children need wilderness experiences in order to thrive and grown. Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods, 2008.
    • “I enjoyed hearing my son telling me what a great time he had—he didn’t want the week to end.” Marline L.
    • “My brother was terminally ill with a brain tumor. The only place he could find solace was in the Delta Nature Reserve, sitting in his wheelchair, taking in the smells of nature from the perfume laden air.” L.D.
  • Build awareness of what is happening to peatlands locally and internationally.
  • Give people the tools they need so they can reduce the destruction of peatlands at home and abroad. E.g. refuse to buy products that have “conflict palm oil” in them. Six percent of greenhouse gases are caused by the continuous burning of Indonesian peatlands.


Thanks to the support of people like you, here are some of the Society’s Successes.

  • 1995 - Resolutions calling for the purchase or expropriation of Burns Bog and declaring it a Ramsar site were passed at the International Peat Congress in Edinburgh Scotland. Dr. David Bellamy devoted half of his keynote speech to telling peatland scientists from around the world about Burns Bog.
  • 1999 - Successfully convinced the Provincial government to decline a proposal to cut Burns Bog into two pieces.
  • 2000 - The Burns Bog Ecosystem Review was published.       This was the first review conducted by the Provincial Environment Assessment Office that was not development driven.
  • 2004 - Four levels of government came together to buy 5000 acres of Burns Bog.
  • 2008 - Society Representatives attended the 13th International Peat Congress raising awareness about the threats to Burns Bog.
  • 2012 - Ramsar designation was achieved for Burns Bog under the Fraser Delta Ramsar site. This designation is named after Ramsar, Iran where the first conference on wetlands of international importance was held. All four levels of government had to support the designation for Burns Bog and the other five areas.


How did the Society Start?

Twenty people founded the Society after a successful battle to stop the development of Burns Bog in 1988. The founders were concerned about the lack of knowledge about Burns Bog and its role in our environment.

Some of the key people in the successful fight to stop development in 1988 were former students who had taken classes from some very knowledgeable teachers at North Delta Secondary, Delta. They knew what was at stake.

Wayne Kirkham decided to take action against the development plans. He convinced his friends to drive him around and drop leaflets at people’s houses. Another young fellow worked for Xerox. He tested all the new Xerox machines by printing out the leaflets needed for the campaign. Then he gave the printed leaflets to volunteers from Seaquam Secondary School. They folded them and Wayne and his friends dropped them off at peoples’ homes.

Hugging sphagnum moss after a hard day’s work was out of the question. Following in the footsteps of Hollis Kelly and his colleagues, the Society started its education programs. The first field trip into the Delta Nature Reserve was by a group of Grade sevens in 1992.


How do we achieve our vision, mission and core values?

Our current program includes field trips from kindergarten to university for about 2500 students annually. Summer day camps started in 1998 with about 50 children. Now over 200 children attend annually. Last year French was introduced for two of the weeks. Private group nature walks and school field trips are given by request. Guided public nature walks take place once a month.

The Society continues to fundraise, build and maintain the Delta Nature Reserve boardwalk on the edge of Burns Bog. Besides local residents it is visited by people from all over the world. It is estimated that at least 50,000 people visit the Nature Reserve annually.

Surrey and Delta teachers gave their lesson plans to the Society to create “A Teacher’s Guide to Burns Bog” in 1996. Since then, several new guides have been produced.

A copy of our Core Values is posted in each office where our staff and volunteers can refer to it whenever they are questioning if an action fits into the Society’s core values. It helps keep us focused on our promises to our members and donors.


Current Challenges:

Continued threats to Burns Bog and surrounding areas are:

  • FAILURE of governments and developers to honour the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance.
  • Poorly built roads next to the Conservation Area
  • Expansion of an LNG plant and construction of a wharf in the Fraser River to upload LNG tankers for export.
  • Lack of knowledge about how important saving local and international peatlands are to fight climate change.
  • Lack of knowledge of how little things can make the difference such as refusing to use peat in your gardens. Or as our Honorary Chair Dr. David Bellamy says, “for Pete’s sake, don’t use peat!”


How you can help.

  • Make a one-time gift of your choice towards general funds.
  • Support one of our special campaigns.
  • Become a monthly donor and join our Guardian’s Club.
  • Talk to your friends and family about supporting the Society’s work by:
    • Ask friends to make a donation in your honour for your anniversary, birthday, wedding or some other special event in your life.
    • Instead of a dust-collecting gift, make a donation in honour of a friend or family member. We will happily send them a personalized certificate in a presentation folder.
    • Supporting a school field trip for an inner city school ($150). (We have not changed the price since 2002).
    • Supporting a child at summer day camp. ($159.00)
    • Your Choice: ____________