They say all good things must come to an end, and to that end we pay tribute to Eliza Olson, patron saint of Burns Bog.
Her 32-year, four-month stint as president of Burns Bog Conservation Society and as its volunteer executive director has come to an end, leaving us to consider her tireless engagement of heart and soul to preserve this marvellous peat bog.
Olson was instrumental in bringing worldwide attention to Burns Bog, in protecting it from would-be land developers with the ferocity of a mother bear protecting its cubs. She bent ears wherever and whenever she could, lobbying all levels of government to see a large portion of it protected in perpetuity.
She also did her level-best to educate the rest of us about the benefits and wonders of this unique wetland. You might say Labrador Tea courses through her veins.
Olson carried the standard in efforts to save Burns Bog from being turned into a city, a 10-berth seaport, an industrial park, a new home for the PNE. Another shining moment was to see it become part of the Fraser River Delta Ramsar site in 2012, securing its place as an internationally significant wetland.
Those who have taken over from Olson, age 82, carry a heavy burden to do her legacy justice, and to that end we wish them bonne chance.
Burns Bog – aka the lungs of the Lower Mainland – is definitely something worth fighting for, and we all owe a debt of gratitude to Olson for her work in that regard.