Ecological Restoration is a scientific discipline that has recently emerged due to the increasing need to restore degraded and damaged ecosystems. Many ecosystem goods, services, and natural habitats have been severely impacted due to the cumulative impacts of previous and ongoing anthropogenic influences, including for example: urban sprawl, industrial expansion, invasive species, and contamination of soils and water resources. Ecological restoration at BCIT allows sustainable land use, by restoring habitat, plants, and animals, both on-campus and where on-campus activities affect off-campus ecology. BCIT offers both B.Sc. and M.Sc degrees in Ecological Restoration, the first program of its kind in Canada.
In addition to restoration efforts, BCIT has committed to protect the current green space on campus. No more land can be used for additional parking, as stated in formal memorandum of understanding BCIT signed with the City of Burnaby in 2001.
A living lab for the future
Our Burnaby campus is being transformed with new buildings and infrastructure to create unparalleled places to learn, innovate and co-create. We will also enliven the campus with new greenways, bike lanes, on-campus housing and public spaces. These will help create stronger connections with our environment and with each other. The urban ecological restoration of Guichon Creek will bring a weaving waterway to life across campus and become an iconic symbol of BCIT’s sustainability.
Guichon Creek restoration
It’s hard to believe that Guichon Creek on the Burnaby Campus was an underground drainage channel 40 years ago. Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation and Ecological Restoration students and staff have worked for 25 years to restore the creek by re-establishing streamside vegetation, enhancing in-stream habitat, and improving water quality, with help from donors and the City of Burnaby. Now a successful example of urban stream restoration, and needed habitat for fish and wildlife, the creek was even repopulated with cutthroat trout in 2006.
The Burnaby Campus Master Plan (2007) included plans to “daylight” the rest of the creek from its underground culvert from SE16 at Ford Street, all the way to Canada Way. Restoring a stream from underground pipes to the surface is called”daylighting”, and this process reduces toxic run-off into lakes, increases trout and salmon populations, protects riparian biodiversity, and reminds us of the fragile beauty of our environment, and the many reasons to protect it. Guichon Creek is only one example of the Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation program’s conservation and restoration projects. Learn more and be inspired.
Centre for Ecological Restoration & Climate Adaptation (CERCA)
CERCA will be a global Centre of Excellence, advancing the quality and quantity of skilled environmental technicians, biologists, and land managers responsible for monitoring and restoring our lands, waterways, and climate. As a critical hub for 21st Century ecological restoration and climate adaptation education and research, the centre will make a global impact on sustainability through research, collaboration and innovation.