Trinity Western University

Additional Curricular Opportunities

Ecosystem Study Area

Christopher Hall, Manager

Encompassing all undeveloped natural areas of the Trinity Western University main campus, as well as 57 acres across Glover Road, the Ecosystem Study Area (ESA) is a beautiful example of God’s creation, providing areas for recreation, relaxation, and outdoor education. While specific university course work and research projects make use of virtually all of the 100+ acres, the Salmon River Trail, which runs through woodlands, a pond area, and along the Salmon River, is the primary area open to the campus community and public.

The purpose of the Ecosystem Study Area is threefold: 1) to provide an area open to all for recreation and appreciation of nature; 2) to serve as a living outdoor laboratory for university course work and public education; and 3) to serve as a creation stewardship site for protection of plant and wildlife species.

Hundreds of species, including a number of rare and endangered species, have been catalogued in the ESA, and ongoing research efforts continue to add to this total. The Salmon River and its tributaries comprise the largest Coho salmon-producing watershed on the Fraser River. Additionally, the ESA is home to the endangered Oregon Forest snail, supporting the largest known populations of this species in Canada. Trinity Western University has become the lead research institution studying this species, through a World Wildlife Fund grant to the Environmental Studies Program. Splendid examples of mature Pacific Northwest temperate rainforest species exist in some portions of the ESA, with highly productive salmon-bearing streams throughout. While of obvious value to Biology, Environmental Studies, and other science departments, the ESA is also of interest to non-science departments as an historic area, a fitness course, and an inspirational area for literary and fine arts students.

In the interest of serving the multiple uses of the ESA, certain areas have been set aside for general public use, while other areas are left in a natural state, accessed for research of special projects only by permission from the campus Ecological Stewardship Committee. It is intended that this division of public and restricted areas strikes a balance between heavy impact use and conservation/education use. To that end, the following set of rules has been developed for the Ecosystem Study Area:

  • Stay on designated trails;
  • Leave all vegetation and animals in place;
  • No motorized vehicles, bicycles, horseback riding, or pets.

A group of volunteer stewards conducts patrols, research projects, and maintenance projects in the ESA throughout the year. For information about stewarding opportunities, to arrange a group tour, or simply to learn more about the ESA, contact the ESA manager or visit the Ecosystem Study Area website at





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