An urban creek hangs in the balance

Ruth Foster (left) started the Mossom Creek Hatchery in 1976. Pictured here with hatchery supporter George Assaf. Photo by Carlos Tello.

Ruth Foster (left) started the Mossom Creek Hatchery in 1976. Pictured here with hatchery supporter George Assaf. Photo by Carlos Tello.

Right before walking into the forest in Mossom Creek Park in Port Moody, Rod MacVicar loudly says “hello” to the bears. He’s not trying to summon them, though; he’s trying to keep them at bay. They want to stay away from us as much as we want to stay away from them, he explains.

Inside, MacVicar shows me the remains of a deer; a great teaching tool, he says, before explaining the deer’s role in the forest ecosystem.

MacVicar has been a science teacher for more than 30 years. In 1976, he and his teaching partner Ruth Foster started an environmental school club in Centennial High School in Coquitlam. After setting up the club, they realized they needed a field location. “A place where students could experience, learn about, and maybe restore nature,” says Foster.

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