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

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

UPDATED: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in US after ‘accidentally’ crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

Overdose deaths down in Surrey, but more than two people still dying a week

As of the end of August, 86 people died by illicit drug overdose in Surrey, which is a drop from 2018

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Frustration and pride in Canada after a year of legal pot

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read

l -->