I worked for Canadian Pacific Railway in Sales and Marketing for 41 years. While I very much enjoyed my career I was thrilled to find Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society (BIMES) which has been a fabulous transition into retirement. I started volunteering there in 2015 and was so impressed to see a beautiful new building nestled in the middle of a valley forest. After the short drive up our gravel roadway it’s hard to believe we’re only 5 minutes away from the city.
As president of BIMES which owns and operates Mossom Creek Hatchery and Education center my focus is on making sure our volunteers and educators are happy and supported so they can enjoy their passion and work. Our overall primary focus is on environmental education. Our motto “YOU ONLY CARE WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT” Our society provides the perfect location to teach young and old the importance of protecting our natural environment.
We have a fabulous core group of friendly hard working generous volunteers. I’m always excited for our Salmon Sundays, they provides an opportunity to meet all sorts of members of the community. It’s wonderful to see how our work is valued and some who visit become regular volunteers.
Ruth Foster is a nationally recognized environmental education specialist. Ruth spent three decades teaching Coquitlam high school students about nature. Ruth played a key role in establishing innovative courses in fisheries and wildlife and many of her students have gone on to complete graduate degrees in biology. Now retired from the school, Ruth continues to teach through Simon Fraser University’s Department of Education and to mentor students at the hatchery. She is the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology and Mathematics, the BC Minister’s Environmental Award (Centennial School Salmon Project), the Fisheries and Oceans Salmonid Enhancement Task Group Award of Excellence, the VanCity Environmental Award for Individual Educator, and the Tri-City Spirit of Community Environmental Award. She was named to the Tri-Cities Top Ten of the Decade for leadership in environmental stewardship and pioneering habitat restoration.
In 2006 she won the prestigious Canadian Environmental Award Gold Medal for Environmental Learning and was the subject of an award-winning mini-documentary in the My Hero series. She also received the 2009 City of Port Moody Environmental Award, the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology and Mathematics, and the Kees Vermeer Award for waterbird conservation and educational work with youth. Most recently, Ruth received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Ruth is an associate instructor for the Reed Point Marine Education Centre, a director with the Pacific WildLife Foundation and a director of the Marine Educational Services Association. She is a founding member of the Burrard Inlet Marine Enhancement Society, the founding vice-president of the Port Moody Ecological Society and a member of the Burke Mountain Naturalists’ Society.
Retired from 47 years of Canadian health care leadership, I am enjoying the comparative tranquility of retirement and the joy of having time for other pursuits. My wife, two children and I have been residents of Coquitlam for the past 33 years but only last year learned of the wonders of the Mossom Hatchery.
Mossom has offered me a quiet sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of daily life; a place to enjoy the wonders of nature; a place to be enchanted by the near-by creek with its local salmon stock and importantly a place to gather and socialize with folks of common interest. It is a welcoming place for all but most importantly an opportunity for younger children to learn about the local ecology and for some hands-on experiences in our education center. Education
and research are key goals of Mossom which makes it a wonderful place for kids and adults of all ages.
Run entirely by volunteers, our contribution goes beyond the harvesting eggs, nurturing salmon through their lifecycle and eventual release of the smolts into the local streams but also to the more mundane functions of site and fish tank maintenance and the everyday operations of running a small charitable society. I personally sit on the Board as Treasurer where I offer my expertise in all things financial in nature and am rewarded by the opportunity to engage and learn from folks from different walks of life.
In my previous life, I was engaged in mapping the world, one small area at a time.
Photogrammetry is the art of using aerial photos of areas of interest to create accurate maps with Full 3-D information ; maps of existing features like roads, buildings, open pit mines, or landscapes into which changes like planned roads, pits, deforestation, or simply measuring volumes of resources stacked on or removed from areas. After 2 years at BCIT to learn the science of it my first job was at (long since gone) Burnett Resource Surveys in 1972-81 in Burnaby, followed for a near decade in Calgary. On returning to the Coast at a more adventurous and forward looking company in the same realm, this led eventually to “space science” – providing clients with MDA’s Radarsat imaging of a wide variety of places around the globe, images from 300km in space.
On retirement in 2013, my search for photography targets led fortuitously to Mossom Creek a couple of months before the disastrous fire. The following Spring and Summer I learned a lot about dreadful disappearing runs of Wild Salmon, so when the hatchery rebuilding started it seemed like the thing to do was to assist in whatever untrained way i could. First it was special fundraising events photo taker – next thing you know, i’m “working“ as fish manager! It has been fun work and learning how our efforts were going directly to assisting bringing back the numbers of Salmon returns to BC streams. Meeting all the marvelous conscientious like-minded folks made it all the better!
Never regretted it!
Rod MacVicar and Ruth Foster, the founders of Mossom Creek Hatchery way back in 1976 were my colleagues in the Science Department at Centennial Secondary School in Coquitlam when I began teaching Chemistry and Math there in 1988. Though born in Montreal I grew up in Vancouver and earned a BSc in Biochemistry at UBC. During my teacher education year at SFU my favourite courses were in environmental education. My first job as a high school science teacher was at Elphinstone Secondary in Gibsons, BC in 1973. My husband and two children moved to Coquitlam in the mid-eighties.
Although I certainly visited Mossom and knew about the excellent Fisheries Ecology and Salmon Enhancement program Rod and Ruth had iniOated with their students, I did not get involved with volunteering at Mossom until I was retired in 2014. In the fall of 2019 in response to the concerns about water quality in our local watersheds, planned development around the Mossom and need to establish a baseline we decided to start monitoring the water quality for parameters that include Oxygen concentration, temperature, pH, conductivity, turbidity, nitrates and other chemicals in Mossom Creek and Schoolhouse Creek North on a weekly basis. I joined the Board in April of 2018 and am currently the Director of Water Quality. I’ve really enjoyed volunteering, teaching, participating in many workshops and being part of the Mossom family!
Rod MacVicar has been challenging the minds of young students to explore the oceans for more than 30 years. Milton McClaren, Emeritus Professor of Education, Simon Fraser University summed it up at a recent award presentation when he said that Rod is “one of the top five science teachers in B.C.” Many former students agree and credit their success to Rod’s enthusiasm to learn more about marine life in the Pacific. But his enthusiasm goes far beyond teaching science. Rod and his teaching partner Ruth Foster established the Mossom Creek Salmon Hatchery in Port Moody over three decades ago. He also took hundreds of students to the ocean in his own boats, an activity he continues today. He has been active in the North American Marine Educators Association, developed an on-line marine education newspaper, and he has been active in local environmental issues in Port Moody and Coquitlam.
In 2001 along with Dave Harris owner of Reed Point Marina, Rod opened the Reed Point Marine Education Centre. The Centre provides hands-on learning of marine life using touch pools, observation tanks, viewing chambers & microscopes. The Centre provides programs for elementary school to university level students and also serves as the office for the Pacific WildLife Foundation. Rod is a director of this foundation. www.pwlf.org Among his numerous awards, Rod has received the Murray A. Newman Award for Excellence in Education in Aquatic Science; the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Science, Technology & Mathematics; Kees Vermeer Award; the Salmonid Enhancement Task Group’s Award of Excellence and the City of Port Moody Environmental Award.
Rod is also a Master Mariner. Rod’s most recent award is the presitigious 2010 Blanche Hornbeck Award of Excellence given by Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History.
Shelley is an outdoor educator with 20 years of experience delivering outdoor environmental education programming in North Vancouver and the Tri-Cities. Shelley has a BSc in Biology from SFU and a BSc in Forestry from UBC and has developed and delivered environmental programming across the Lower Mainland, including the “Gently Down the Seymour” program at the Seymour River Hatchery, the Eco Trekkers Program with Metro Vancouver Parks, NCRCC, and the City of Coquitlam, and Watershed Education Programs and Tours in the Coquitlam, Seymour, and Capilano Watersheds. In her spare time, she has participated as a Girl Guide Leader, leads nature programs for her church Sunday School kids, delivers local forest field trips for her daughters’ elementary school, and is helping establish a native plant garden.
Shelley’s programming goals are to get kids immersed in nature so they feel comfortable outside and can learn through experiencing nature firsthand. To Shelley, nature exploration helps kids learn to recognize and understand the many interactions in nature and develop a love for their local environment that will help them make better decisions about them now and in the future.
Lauren Kerley is joining Mossom Hatchery and Education Centre as education program manager. Lauren has completed a BSc majoring in Zoology and Marine Biology and a postgraduate diploma of teaching through the University of Melbourne. Lauren brings years of experience running school programs having worked in the education departments of organizations such as the Calgary Zoo, Bow Habitat Station and Baxter Conservation Area. Passionate about hands-on experiential learning, Lauren is excited to lead education programs at Mossom and share her passion for nature and conservation with students.