News Release Written Together by The PR Team

KPU PR students host enchanting charity event this Thursday

MAR 3 / 2015
kpuprclass

Metro Vancouver, B.C. This Thursday promises to be an enchanting evening as Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s (KPU) PR program hosts its annual charity fundraiser, this year in support of Eversafe Ranch Outreach Society.

Each year, the university’s public relations students organize a major fundraising event to support a charity of their choosing through funds and raised awareness. On March 5, the 23 proactive individuals behind An Enchanted Night hope to set a PR program record by raising a grand total of $15,000.

“We’re very excited about this year’s event. The students have chosen a very worthy cause, and I’m so proud of what they’re doing,” said Sabrina Del Monte, KPU PR program director. “They’ve accomplished so much in such a short period of time, they should be very proud of themselves.”

To date, the 2015 graduating class has raised over $10,000 through sponsorships, donations and other fundraising initiatives. Funds from Thursday’s event will be used to purchase a used bus to help Eversafe run its afterschool programs.

An Enchanted Night, presented by the Kwantlen Student Association, will feature performances by famed illusionist Lon Mandrake, a silent auction and hors d’oeuvres, and will be held at CBC Studio 700 in Vancouver, from 7-10 p.m. Tickets for the event are $40 each. More information is available here. To donate to the cause, visit CanadaHelps.org.

An Enchanted Night
WHEN:
Thursday, March 5, 7-10 p.m.
WHERE: CBC Studio 700, 775 Cambie Street, Vancouver
INFO: Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be requested here.

About KPU’s PR program
The two-year public relations diploma program carries 60 credits in courses directly related to PR. Students are well trained in media relations, event management, issues management, stakeholder relations, marketing, advertising and corporate communications, among other subjects. More information about the program, offered through the KPU School of Business, is available atkpu.ca/business/pr.

About Eversafe Ranch Outreach Society
Every year, Eversafe Ranch Outreach Society helps around 700 families in the Lower Mainland transition from shelters to a home of their own. The charity provides furniture, household items, clothing and toys to families in need. Learn more at eversaferanch.ca.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at www.kpu.ca.

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Event media contact:
Roselyn Savady
Publicity Coordinator & PR student
604.992.7673
roselyn.savady@kwantlen.net

KPU media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist, KPU
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288
hayley.woodin@kpu.ca

For more KPU news:
@KPUmedia
kpu.ca/newsroom
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http://www.kpu.ca/news/kpu-pr-students-host-enchanting-charity-event-thursday

The Beauty of Burns Bog

by Roselyn Savady

burnsbog

A truly unique and magnificent ecosystem lays right here in our backyard. Located in Delta, BC, Burns Bog covers 2,821 hectares of land (eight times bigger than Stanley Park). It is the largest undeveloped urban wilderness in North America.[1]

The reason why Burns Bog is so extraordinary is because of its chemistry, form, flora and large size. It is a raised peat bog (also known as a domed bog), which is uncommon in Canada. This occurs when the water table is at or near the ground surface for most of the year, making the plants decompose extremely slowly when they die. The vegetation is mostly sphagnum moss that thrives in acidic and low-nutrient wetlands. When the sphagnum moss and other plants decompose, they create peat that slowly accumulates into a domed shape on the bog.[2]

History

For thousands of years, Burns Bog was used by Tsawwassen, Semiahmoo, Musqueam, and other First Nations people. They hunted large mammals and water fowl, as well as gathering berries and medicinal plants.[3]

European settlers began farming in this area in the 1870’s.

In 1906, Dominic Burns bought the Great Delta Bog for $26,000. It became known as Burn’s Ranch, where they raised cattle and sheep.[4]

Peat mining began in the 1930’s to the early 1980’s. It was used as a source of fuel and was exported to the United States to make a catalytic agent in refining magnesium for fire bombs in World War II.[5]

In June of 1999, the ecological review of Burns Bog was undertaken by the Province and Delta Fraser Properties Partnership to determine the factors crucial to preserving the ecological integrity of the bog.[6]

On March 24th, 2004, the Government of Canada, British Columbia, Metro Vancouver and the Corporation of Delta,  purchased 2,042 hectares of Burns Bog for $73 million to be protected as an Ecological Conservancy Area (ECA).[7]

Importance

The wetlands is a habitat to rare flora and fauna. It is a major stopover for more than 103 migratory birds, including the endangered Greater Sandhill Cranes.

Burns Bog is a carbon sink that soaks up and stores carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. It is 10 times more effective than any other ecosystem because of the deep peat deposits. The Burns Bog Conservation Society calls it “the lungs of the Lower Mainland” because of its role in maintaining air quality.[8]

Threats

Although Burns Bog is protected, an area adjacent to the bog, owned by MK Delta Lands Group, proposed a plan for a large-scale residential and commercial development for a 35-hectare parcel between 64th avenue and 72nd avenue (which would be built on the lagg). The lagg buffers the bog from the outside environment that would harm the delicate ecosystem in Burns Bog. The plan has yet to be approved.[9]

That is just one of the big threats. Other threats include, the proposed coal terminal and the South Perimeter Fraser Road.

Read more here: www.burnsbog.org/fight-current-threats

Conservation

A legally binding conservation covenant was established to ensure Burns Bog is protected and managed effectively as a natural ecosystem. These are the objectives identified in the covenant act:

  • “Maintain Burns Bog in perpetuity as a large, contiguous, undeveloped natural area for the purpose of protecting the flora and fauna that depend on Burns Bog.
  • Manage Burns Bog as a functional raised bog ecosystem as understood by the best science of the time.
  • Maintain the extent and integrity of the water mound and the peat that enclosed it, and in particular the upper porous acrotelm, upon which the persistence of the bog ecosystem depends.
  • Prevent any occupation or use of Burns Bog that will impair or interfere with the current state of Burns Bog or its Amenities (except with respect to statutory rights-of-way).”[10]

In May of 2007, the Burns Bog ECA Management Plan was completed. Their mission is:

“To restore the raised bog ecosystem and maintain its integrity in accordance with the best scientific principles and stewardship practices of the time, in collaboration with the community, offering opportunities for education/interpretation, sustainable recreation and scientific research.”[11]

The Burns Bog Conservation Society works to protect and sustain the bog, as well as promoting education and awareness about the ecological benefits and the need to save it. They also provide tours, field studies and community events on the Delta Nature Reserve, located in the north-eastern corner of the bog (the only area of Burns Bog open to the public).

Last November, the society marked their 25th anniversary by organizing a successful fundraising gala and announced the launch of a campaign to build an education and interpretive centre in Delta.

Restoration

Burns Bog use to be 4,800 hectares. It took over 3000 years to form but over the last century, half of it has been destroyed by human activity. The water table has been disrupted by decades of peat extraction. As a result, the water level is lowered and the surface is drier, leading to higher risk of wildfires.[12]

In the summer of 2007, man-made dams were placed to block and repair damages of the drainage ditches that have been dug throughout the bog during the peat mining days. Beavers have (naturally) also built dams to help raise the water table levels and regenerate sphagnum moss.[13]

Preservation

Access to the wetlands is off limits to the public to keep it safe from destruction and to preserve the sensitive ecosystem.

Therefore, without the preservation, conservation and restoration of Burns Bog, the ecosystem  would collapse and the bog would eventually succumb to forest, the endangered species living in the bog would become extinct, there would be more floods and the CO2 would be released back into the atmosphere and cause climate change. That is why it is crucial to protect Burns Bog for future generations.

[1]http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks_lscr/regionalparks/Pages/BurnsBog.aspx

[2] http://www.burnsbog.ca/science.html

[3] http://www.burnsbog.ca/pre-european_years.html

[4] http://www.burnsbog.ca/pioneering_days.html

[5] http://www.burnsbog.ca/peat_mining.html

[6] http://www.burnsbog.ca/events_chronology.html

[7] Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area Management Plan

[8] https://www.burnsbog.org/burns-bog/

[9] http://www.thenownewspaper.com/news/mk-delta-unveils-third-burns-bog-plan-to-council-on-monday-1.629902

[10]http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks_lscr/regionalparks/Pages/BurnsBog.aspx

[11]http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks_lscr/regionalparks/Pages/BurnsBog.aspx

[12] Burns Bog Ecological Conservancy Area Management Plan

[13] http://www.burnsbog.ca/restoring.html

Story Pitch Success

by Roselyn Savady

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Last week, me and two of my group members started story pitching to journalists, editors, bloggers and producers across various media outlets. It was our final class project and our goal was to get media coverage (and also a very good grade). We picked an amazing charity that Sara has been involved with before. What makes this charity different from others, is that no one else in the Lower Mainland (that we know of) is doing this.

First of all, pitching to journalist is not easy. You can’t just write a generic email and then blast it off to 1000 people, it’s just not effective. We began with crafting a story which had to be newsworthy and timely. Afterwards, we created a media list of those who we thought would be relevant to write about our cause and then finally, we started pitching.

The actual pitching was the toughest part. We split up our list and researched every journalists, editors, bloggers and producers. We had to find out their contacts, recent works, background info and anything that would help us with our pitch. Yes, we felt a bit like creeps but it’s part of our job. Journalists hate it when you pitch to them and you know nothing about them.

At the end of the day, we got a response from the Cloverdale Reporter and Omni News. Not bad for students. Below is a link to the article that was written about Eversafe Ranch. You can also find the article in The Surrey Leader and The Peace Arch News.

JENNIFER LANG / CLOVERDALE REPORTER Judy and Alan Daser say there’s an urgent need for household items for families leaving Surrey shelters to start new lives.

PHOTO CREDIT: JENNIFER LANG / CLOVERDALE REPORTER
Judy and Alan Daser say there’s an urgent need for household items for families leaving Surrey shelters to start new lives.

Read the full article here:

Charity launches a spring cleaning appeal – Cloverdale Reporter.

CLIMATE CHANGE: Food Waste in our Landfills

By Roselyn Savady

Image

Many people are not aware of what happens when they throw away their leftovers, but composting is just as important as recycling plastic bottles and cans because it affects climate change.

In Metro Vancouver, nearly 1 million tonnes of waste goes into our landfills each year. About 40% of our garbage is food. By 2015, all organic waste will be banned from the landfills.

Why is it important to compost?

  • When organic waste decomposes, it gives off carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • Food waste will be covered in garbage and will decompose without oxygen and create methane gas (CH4), which is 20 times more potent than CO2.
  • Both CO2 and CH4 are greenhouse gases (GHG).
  • When too much of the gas goes into the atmosphere, it pollutes our air and creates a blanket around the surface of the earth.
  • That blanket becomes thicker and thicker as we create more waste, while absorbing heat from the Sun.
  • Our planet is now becoming hotter, which is known as global warming.

How do we compost?

  • Most municipalities in Metro Vancouver offer green bins to be picked up, usually once a week and taken to a composting facility.
  • All consumable food waste, soiled paper (even pizza boxes), and yard trimmings can go into the organics cart. Things that are not allowed are plastic, metal, glass, pet waste, and diapers.
  • Start a backyard, balcony or a worm compost. It is great for your garden because of the nutrient-rich fertilizer it creates to help the soil retain moisture.
  • You can call your municipality to purchase a bin for approximately $25 each and they can help you set it up.

What’s in it for you?

  • Composting is not only great for the environment, it helps save us money.
  • We can reduce the amount of food we throw away by planning meals carefully and buying fewer products with less packaging to avoid unnecessary waste.
  • Municipalities in Metro Vancouver also save money by spending less on managing recycling and operational costs. Your tax dollars could be used on more important matters.
  • The most sustainable way to manage waste is to compost.
  • You can stay healthy by growing vegetables in your own garden or community garden, throwing the left over organic waste into the compost, and then turning it into fertilizer which goes back into your garden. This cycle converts all the organic waste from our landfills.
  • We will have much higher air quality.  Less garbage means fewer trucks on the road and fewer trucks on the road means less GHG emissions going into the atmosphere.

Each household in Metro Vancouver produces about 860 kilograms of garbage a year. Just one household makes a huge difference. Imagine if every residential and commercial property in your community separated their food scraps and garbage. This would  keep millions of tonnes of garbage out of our landfills each year and we would live in a much cleaner environment.

Let’s encourage others to be more conscious of disposing waste and make use of the green bins. It’s time to take action!

Eversafe Ranch: A Charity That Goes Above and Beyond

by Roselyn Savady

Last week, a couple of my classmates and I got some first hand experience of what it is like to help a woman (who ran away from domestic violence) and her child move from a shelter to their own apartment. After she had the courage to leave her abusive husband, the woman and her son were left with absolutely nothing but the clothes on their backs. With her permission, we came along with Judy and Alan Daser (the founders of Eversafe Ranch) to help deliver furniture and to get some real perspective on how challenging life can be after moving out of a shelter.

Eversafe is a great little charity in Cloverdale, run by an amazing group of people with BIG hearts. They provide support to families living in shelters that are transitioning to secondary housing or to a place of their own. They also rescue animals that families can no longer care for. Unfortunately, that has been put on hold for now because they no longer have their ranch to keep them in. However, they still try to help these animals find loving homes.

My classmates and I wanted to do more, so we have started a crowd funding campaign to raise money towards helping Eversafe get a new sign for their non-profit charity thrift store, sending shelter children to summer camps and getting a bus (so they can take them to activities and events). We are also raising awareness through media relations by contacting local newspapers and broadcast stations.

This charity does so many great things that the public is not aware of. Not only do they provide the basic necessities for people who are struggling, they also guide and mentor those that need some extra help with living on their own. Eversafe, families and individuals from shelters deserves much more support from our community.

For more information about Eversafe Ranch and how to help donate and/or volunteer, please visit their websites:

http://www.eversaferanch.ca or http://www.gofundme.com/eversafe

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