White Rock resident Corinne Issel flips through a teaching guide she developed with the Burns Bog Conservation Society.

White Rock resident Corinne Issel flips through a teaching guide she developed with the Burns Bog Conservation Society.

Sharing love for the bog

White Rock educator helps develop teaching guide

Burns Bog has special meaning to Corinne Issel, who, as a small girl, would walk with her parents through the wetland that neighboured her childhood home.

“I just fell in love with it,” Issel said.

When she picked up running as a university student, Issel began frequenting the area’s trails. They permeated serenity, she said, and “the feeling that you were removed from our regular surroundings and in a place that is utterly unique.”

It was during that time that Issel took more notice of the damaging effect human interference could have on the bog.

“I became much more aware of the threats.”

Now, with a young daughter of her own, the White Rock resident has found a way to share her love – and concern – for the Delta site with others.

The former Surrey school teacher is celebrating the release of a publication she helped develop with the Burns Bog Conservation Society to bring bog awareness and education to students.

For Peat’s Sake: A Complete Classroom Study on Burns Bog and Other Peatlands is a curriculum educators can use to teach children about biodiversity, living resources and life sciences, using Burns Bog as a prime example.

The teaching resource was launched Sunday (July 24) as part of the society’s International Bog Day activities.

“I’m excited… to see it come to fruition,” Issel said.

The project has been five years in the making, and replaces a 15-year-old curriculum that Issel said has become outdated.

She was first introduced to the old teaching resource when her husband, Brad – a South Surrey teacher himself – purchased it at a professional development conference eight years ago.

Issel, who was teaching at HT Thrift at the time, used it to create a Burns Bog unit for her Grade 4/5 class.

“The kids fell in love with it,” she said. “At first, they didn’t know about (the bog), then they became very passionate.

“It was an immense success.”

Issel taught the unit the following year at another school, taking her class to an area of the bog that is now closed off to the public.

“The field trip was really incredible because the plant life the kids had studied was there.”

When teaching it again in 2006, Issel inquired at the Burns Bog Conservation Society about having a representative speak to her class.

Karla Olson – who was starting work on the new curriculum – overheard Issel, and asked if she’d like to use her teaching experience to collaborate on the project.

Issel jumped on the opportunity, and the two began meeting on a regular basis, updating information and developing new material.

“It took a really, really long time,” Issel said.

The result is a 205-page guide that follows B.C. ministry guidelines, and includes lesson-plan suggestions and tips, kid-friendly illustrations and photocopiable reading materials and activities.

Issel – who now runs a private tutoring service – said the resource also explores issues-based ideas, such as the power of individuals to create change and have a positive impact on the environment.

It’s a message that can resonate around the globe, which is one of the reasons the material – which targets kindergarten to Grade 7 students – is expected to be used internationally.

“It’s not just about Burns Bog… but the fact that it’s this attitude we want to take around the world.”

For those interested in learning more about the bog, but who don’t have use for the guide’s teaching material, a 103-page illustrated book has been released for adults and children alike.

For Peat Sake: The Story of Burns Bog and Other Peatlands includes a special gift-giving page where donors can write a personal message.

Issel said sponsorship opportunities are available for those who’d like to donate a copy to a school or public library.

“This is meant to be something that’s a keepsake or gift,” she said.

Issel hopes the entire project creates awareness about a natural gem many take for granted.

“It’s a legacy for the community that I grew up in,” she said.

“It’s important for people to realize what’s going on right here.”

For more information, visit www.burnsbog.org

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Sources team members (left to right) Carrie Belanger, Abby Gemino, Tatiana Belyaeva, Yasmin de Joya-Pagal cheer during the 2020 Coldest Night of the Year event. This year’s event will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Sources photo)
White Rock’s Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser goes virtual

Annual walk raises funds for variety of Sources programs and services

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Scott Ackles

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

Most Read