2015 SLLP

The 2015 SLLP

Participants | Itinerary | Updates along the way

2015 Participants

The Rivershed Society of BC selected seven participants for the 2015 Sustainable Living Leadership Program. The participants, their home towns, and their project ideas are listed below:

  • Lina Azeez, Maple Ridge
    Lina’s project is titled “My Watershed Moment”. It centers around partnering her employer, the Watershed Watch Salmon Society, with the yoga community to bring the practice of yoga to the outdoors in an effort to promote nature therapy and human well-being, as well as engage participants in watershed governance.
  • Lota Colobong, Surrey
    Lota plans to work with the City of Surrey on reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the transportation sector.
  • Maya Graves-Bacchus, West Vancouver
    Maya’s project idea is called “Place Based Activism and Spiritual Practice”. It is a 4-day event connecting people to land, sea, farm and city, which aims to demonstrate what it means to be an activist in these spaces.
  • Christine Mettler, Kelowna
    Christine intends to develop a community-based exhibition that showcases the relationship between humans and their usage of water in the Okanagan Valley. The project aims to stimulate social interaction, reflection, dialogue and debate about how water is being enjoyed, used, changed and exploited.
  • Andaleeb Morales, Vancouver
    Andaleeb plans to work with the City of Vancouver to reduce water consumption, plant trees and significantly reduce waste/garbage.
  • Amanda Ned, Lillooet
    Amanda’s project idea is Incorporate SLLP experiences into educational tools for elementary school students with aspects such as storytelling, presentations and blogs. She is writing blog posts while on the SLLP journey. You can follow along here.
  • Suzanne Senger, Gibsons
    Suzanne’s project idea is a Fraser-Canyon corridor conservation effort aimed at protecting the vital 100-mile stretch of the Fraser River between Lillooet and Williams Lake.

We look forward to seeing these seven individuals learn and grow over the summer, and are excited about the positive impacts they will make in their communities after the Sustainable Living Leadership Program wraps up for the season.


If you are on the Fraser River this summer, keep an eye out for the group as they pass through your community. If you would like to meet them, stop by and say hi at the following locations, but please keep in mind these dates and times are subject to change due to weather, logistics or other unforeseen circumstances:

  • Saturday, July 25 – Morning hike through Ancient Cedar rainforest, Hwy 16 near Crescent Spur
  • Sunday, July 26 – Cultural Day Celebration at Xatśūll Heritage Village, Soda Creek (north of Williams Lake)
  • Monday, July 27 – Afternoon DFO juvenile fish net demonstration at the mouth of Williams Lake Creek, Williams Lake
  • Saturday, August 1 – Bridge River tour / Cayoosh Creek Campground, Lillooet
  • Thursday, August 6 – Morning tour of Glen Valley Organic Farm, Langley
  • Friday, August 7 – Lunch at the Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster
  • Saturday, August 8 – Paddle completion and afternoon arrival at Jericho Sailing Club, Vancouver

Updates from Along the Way

Friday, July 24th
This year, we happen to have three different people on the SLLP who are blogging about their journey. We will not be continuing to post updates, as the three bloggers are doing an excellent job of reporting on the trip. We ask that you read their posts for updates on this year’s journey.

Lina Azeez, SLLP 2015 participant, is writing excellent informative posts accompanied by great photographs. Follow Lina’s blog.
Amanda Ned, SLLP 2015 participant, is writing short, frequent updates. Read Amanda’s blog.
Jacquie Lanthier, SLLP Facilitator, is also writing about the journey. Jacquie’s blog is here.

On the way to Dunster.
On the way to Dunster.

Monday, July 20th
Yesterday the SLLP started their Fraser River journey in earnest. They left the Mount Robson Provincial Park and spent their first of many days canoeing on the Fraser River. It took 6-7 hours to paddle from Tete Jaune Cache to Dunster.

Today the SLLP is paddling from Dunster to McBride, where they will have a layover day. Tomorrow morning they will be learning about riversheds and working on their community projects. After lunch they will hike to a nearby waterfall for some well-deserved R&R before tackling an 8-9 hour paddle to Crescent Spur on Wednesday. From there, they will shuttle to the Goat River Valley and will spend a few days working on the Goat River Trail, hiking, swimming and working on their community projects.

The weather has been remarkably hot. The facilitators report that the water level is low, and is noticeably warmer than usual. Jacquie (SLLP facilitator) headed in to town to run some errands for the program and tried to buy some fresh eggs but was unable to because there weren’t any to be found. She was told the chickens haven’t been laying for the past couple of weeks due to the hot weather.

A biologist-in-training who lives in Edmonton got in touch with us, asking about salmon in Swift Creek. She had heard that Coho and Sockeye were coming up the creek near Valemount, which hasn’t been recorded since the 1980’s. Apparently, when it comes to salmon, Swift Creek is usually only host to Chinook. The SLLP crew asked around while they were in the area but, unfortunately, have been unable to find out any more information about this phenomenon so far. If you have news you can share about this, please get in touch.

Lots of delicious fresh veggies for the trip from Glen Valley Organic Farm.
Lots of delicious fresh veggies for the trip from Glen Valley Organic Farm.

Wednesday, July 15th
The facilitators left their homes on Monday, July 13th for the long drive, accumulating supplies and food along the way. Monday was a long day for Doug Radies (SLLP facilitator), Fin Donnelly (SLLP advisor) and their driver with their many stops to shop and pick up supplies. They left Vancouver early in the morning and arrived in 150 Mile House around midnight, where they spent the night.

The next day, Doug and Fin picked up the van and the canoe, then met up with Jacquie Lanthier (SLLP facilitator) and Orden Mack (SLLP facilitator-in-training).

They spent the evening packing the van and canoe full of supplies, during which they discovered that there were some uninvited guests along for the ride. There was a rather large wasp nest attached to the back of the canoe! Deciding to leave it attached with the hope that the wasps would blow out as they drove on the highway the following morning, the team called it a night.

Doug Radies (SLLP facilitator), Jacquie Lanthier (SLLP facilitator), Fin Donnelly (SLLP advisor) and Orden Mack (SLLP facilitator-in-training) ready to load supplies into the van and canoe.
Doug Radies (SLLP facilitator), Jacquie Lanthier (SLLP facilitator), Fin Donnelly (SLLP advisor) and Orden Mack (SLLP facilitator-in-training) ready to load supplies into the van and canoe.

This morning, the 4-person crew woke at 5:30 a.m. to begin the seven hour drive to the Fraser’s headwaters. After a few hours driving, they stopped at a brake check to knock the wasp nest off. Luckily, nobody got swarmed, or even stung.

They stopped in Valemount for lunch, and Jacquie uploaded a blog post to her site before they hit the road again. She will be writing blog entries along the way, and publishing them when she has internet access. Read Jacquie’s blog.

The facilitators will reach Mount Robson Provincial Park Campground any moment, where they will set up camp and prepare for tomorrow morning when most participants will arrive at dawn on a Greyhound bus. The full SLLP 2015 group will then spend the next three days getting acquainted, hearing about each others community sustainability projects, and learning how to paddle a canoe as a team.

The group’s access to phone reception and wifi will be extremely limited over the next while so it is likely that it we will not get an update from them for several days. Watch this space for news, or subscribe to Jacquie’s blog.