Planted

Planted

ENVIRO NOTES: Bringing A Rocha to light

New book showcases work done by conservation group

Unfortunately, neither the stimulating environmental work carried out by conservation group A Rocha here and elsewhere in the world, nor A Rocha itself, are widely known in the Lower Mainland.

A new, eminently readable, little book – Planted: A Story of Creation, Calling and Community – part historical description and part autobiography, can fill that information vacuum.

A Rocha (Portugese for ‘rock’) began life as a Christian Bird Sanctuary on the coast of Portugal in 1982 and migrated to Canada 14 years later. This book tells how a small, dedicated staff has been enabled to build up an environmental resource and learning centre based firmly on Christian principles and the belief that “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.”

Many times more than once, threatening financial difficulty has been averted by an apparently miraculous donation, a timely answer to prayer.

Now established on the lower banks of our Little Campbell River at Brooksdale Environmental Centre in South Surrey, they practise, demonstrate and teach practical environmental conservation. They are committed to prayerful, hands-on conservation with their efforts directed to action, doing and showing, instead of just telling.

Producing much of the food needed to feed staff, interns and volunteers, they still have a surplus for sale, raising funds towards operating costs.

Author Leah Kostamo’s wide-ranging short chapters, illustrated with whimsical drawings, cover the gamut of developing an environmental-resource centre from scratch, learning needed farming and gardening skills, supporting ecological researchers, adapting to community living and, above all, unashamedly learning to trust God.

There is much in these 10 chapters that should be taken to heart by both strident ‘green’ environmentalists and those skeptics who cannot believe in Divine Providence. It was not written as a scientific treatise, so perhaps it is unfair to complain, but an index and a more comprehensive bibliography would have added to the book’s usefulness.

Its message is challenging and necessary. I, for one, hope it will be read and heeded widely.

Visitors are welcome at the centre (19353 16 Ave., Surrey). The book is available there, through Amazon or at the Small Ritual Coffee Society in White Rock.

•••

Leave it to nature?

Some of you will, I’m sure, remember the controversy some years ago over efforts to save the endangered, spotted owls by restricting logging in old-growth forests, which are the owl’s preferred habitat.

Despite the work of conservationists, spotted-owl numbers have not recovered. They are declining, and a new, natural culprit has been identified. It is the related barred owl.

Barred owls – larger and more aggressive – take over spotted-owl territory, even attacking individuals, and feed on a wider range of prey species, a habit that confers competitive advantage.

In the northwestern United States, shooting of barred owls has been considered as a control measure. Is this a case where we should just leave it to nature and accept the outcome?

It’s a useful example of many environmental conundrums and a warning against simplistic or hasty responses, which usually miss their target anyway.

Dr. Roy Strang writes monthly for the Peace Arch News.

 

Just Posted

Natalie Brown and Colten Wilke star in the feature film Thunderbird, co-produced by South Surrey-raised Michael Morrison and released this month in Canada, the U.S and the U.K. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey-raised producer helps bring ‘Thunderbird’ to the screen

Michael Morrison guides B.C.-shot thriller with First Nations connection

File photo
Surrey Board of Trade vows ‘a lot of noise’ will be made about tax increases

Huberman calls for comprehensive tax review at all levels of government

2019 Red Serge Gala guests try their luck at roulette. (Simon Lau photo)
High hopes for in-person Red Serge Gala on Semiahmoo Peninsula

28th fundraiser for community safety programs set for Oct. 23 return

TEASER PHOTO ONLY - Hillcrest Drive-In's sign at the end its run in Surrey, in a photo uploaded to cinematreasures.org by hermangotlieb.
SURREY NOW & THEN: The city’s last drive-in, Hillcrest showed movies for 50 years on site turned shopping mall

‘It was a good memory, being the last drive-in in the Lower Mainland, at the time,’ says former operator Jay Daulat

United Truckers Association members outside Labour Minister/Surrey-Newton MLA Harry Bains’ office on Monday, June 21. (submitted photo: UTA)
Protesting truckers park outside Labour Minister’s Surrey office; daily rallies promised

The truckers take issue with unlicensed trucks taking work away from legitimate owner operators, and more

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

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 man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Most Read