Field Study Sites
Ecosystem Study Area
Established in 1998, the Ecosystem Study Area is an area dedicated to the study, preservation, and proper management of the environment. It is a valuable area of diverse and sensitive habitat, containing part of the Salmon River and some tributaries. The Salmon River is among the Lower Mainland's top salmon-producing rivers, and therefore it is essential that it be managed appropriately for these pollution-sensitive fish. The ESA is also home to the Oregon forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana), which is a blue-listed species in British Columbia, and considered endangered within Canada. For a guide to the snails of the TWU campus, click here.
Crow's Nest Ecological Research Area
Donated in 2000, the Crow's Nest Ecological Research Area is comprised of 72.7 acres within minutes of Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island. In addition to its breathtaking views, this property holds much ecological significance as it is home to some of the few remaining Garry oak (Quercus garryana) meadows in British Columbia. These meadows, along with other ecosystems associated with the Garry oak, contain more plant species than any other terrestrial ecosystem in coastal BC, as well as a multitude of other creatures, and many of these species are not found anywhere else in Canada. For more info, check out the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team. TWU professors and students are currently involved in many different research projects on this property, and the goal is to continue to build on our understanding of this unique Garry oak ecosystem, enabling us to manage the property in such a way as to keep it ecologically healthy for future generations to enjoy.
Production of these videos was supported by an Environment Canada HSP (Habitat Stewardship Program) grant. We also acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the videographers, Tim Andries, Nicholas Zator and Justin Smith.
Blaauw ECO Forest For more pictures please check our Facebook page.
Christopher Hall, Outdoor Laboratory Supervisor
The Blaauw Eco Forest was donated to Trinity Western University in the fall of 2013 by the Blaauw family in memory of Thomas Blaauw, a local farmer who passed away in 2012. As outlined in the purchase agreement, the forest is to be preserved for public use, education, and research. It can be accessed from a trailhead located on 257A Street, just north of 84th Avenue.
The Blaauw Eco Forest consists of 25 acres located in Glen Valley in Langley Township just south of the Fraser River. It is found within the Western Hemlock biogeoclimactic zone, which is characterized by three layers of plant canopy and mature stands of red cedar, Douglas-fir, and hemlock. Smaller stands of big leaf maple and ancient cottonwood are scattered throughout. The forest sits on top of a glacial moraine; the soils consists of gravel, medium stones, sand and coarse debris with a medium organic layer on top. This forest has unique microhabitats such as various wetlands and mixed forest communities, which can foster a greater richness of plant and animal species.
Rare species that have been identified in the forest include the northern red-legged frog, the wandering salamander, and the Pacific sideband snail. The Blaauw Eco Forest also plays host to larger wildlife such as coyotes, barred owls, bald eagles, great blue herons, black-tailed deer, raccoons, black bears, bobcats, and garter snakes.
This relatively small remnant of the type of forest that once covered much of the Fraser Valley provides excellent opportunities for student research projects and field experiences associated with Trinity Western courses. It is also a place for the public to enjoy a quiet, serene walk in God’s creation. We are grateful to the Blaauw family and also for many community members such as WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests) who made it possible to preserve this unique habitat. Visitors are asked to abide by the rule “leave only footprints, take only pictures” so that this beautiful corner of God’s creation can continue to flourish for generations to come.