Category Archives: Sustainability

Rusty Treasures Found While Organizing Utility Room

A few rusty treasures unearthed while cleaning and organizing our utility room today.

rusty railway spike door stop

On the left, a massive old door stop, gleaned from the site of a former farm on Byrne Creek just a few minutes walk from our place. (All part of a municipal park for decades now. . .)

On the right, a spike from the late, lamented, electric Interurban tram line that ran near our place and all the way out to Chilliwack before it was sadly decommissioned with the rise of cars and highways.

What a loss!

I hear that the teeny Powerhouse Creek that runs a few dozen meters out our back gate and into Byrne Creek was thus named for having a steam-powered electrical generator for the Interurban back in the day. The wee creek taps an underground aquifer that runs to this day. . .

Byrne Creek Invasive English Ivy Pull

As part of the City of Burnaby’s Environment Week activities, the City, Byrne Creek Streamkeepers, and the Lower Mainland Green Team collaborated on pulling invasive English Ivy from the ravine. Thanks to all the volunteers!


Streamkeeper volunteers setting up our information booth


Thanks to the Lower Mainland Green Team for providing lots of gear and supervision!


Our 3D maps of the lower mainland, and of the Byrne Creek watershed, were great hits. Made by hand by streamkeeper volunteers!


I love hands-on outdoor events!


Volunteers heading down into the ravine near the playground at Ron McLean Park in SE Burnaby, BC


The pile of ivy grows. . .


Thanking the volunteers

Byrne Creek Burnaby Invasive Ivy Pull
Yumi found this ancient stubbie that was still capped and had liquid in it, but we were afraid to open it 😉

SFU Ecopsychology Workshop at Lynn Canyon

Had a great day in and around the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. I participated in a Simon Fraser University workshop on Ecopsychology — Experiential, Nature and Place-Based Learning.

Thanks to instructor Daniella Roze for her thoughtful, grounded training, and great techniques for reconnecting people, and particularly kids, to nature.

While she was not able to arrange for someone from local First Nations to welcome us, we acknowledged traditional lands and the impacts of colonialism.

We had a chance to try basket-weaving and braiding using local plants.

meditation tree lynn canyon

This is the magnificent tree I chose for my individual meditation period. I lay on my back with the tree’s roots cradling my head, and contemplated the crown gently swaying in the breeze.

My thoughts were that viewed horizontally at human level, the tree looked so deeply rooted, mature, strong and still, and yet looking up with my body stretched on the earth, I could see the trunk bending with the wind and the crown dancing youthfully in the breeze.

It was diminishing yet uplifting to think this tree had been here long before I was born, and with good fortune, will be here much longer after I am gone.

Chipotle Black Bean Veggie Burger ‘Cabbage Rolls’

So in my reducing-the-eating-of-meat process, a friend recommended Gardein veggie burgers.

I inadvertently bought what is likely their spiciest product — Chipotle Black Bean patties. I am not a spice person, and nearly died eating the first two patties.

So two more patties had been sitting in the freezer, and today I figured out a way to use them in what we like to call “lazy cabbage rolls.”

Cook a bunch of long-grain or jasmine rice only about 2/3 done. Mix with chopped cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, crumbled chipotle black bean veggie burgers, whatever, in a large casserole and mix in a can of mushroom soup. Bake in the oven for an hour or so (the rice will finish cooking without becoming overly soggy)..

Still a tish on the spicy side, but edible for a wuss like me .

veggie burger rice casserole