Journey of a Lifetime on the Fraser River: July 20–August 14

Journey of a Lifetime on the Fraser River: July 20–August 14

From the April/May 2017 issue of the Green Gazette

The Rivershed Society of BC is hosting its 14th annual Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP). This educational program begins at the headwaters of the Fraser River near Mount Robson and arrives at the city shores of Vancouver, 26 days later, and 1,400 kilometers downstream.

Lower Fraser River. As the crew heads back into the grip of civilization, Oliver Berger takes a moment at the helm to catch a selfie with the Port Mann bridge. Photo: Oliver Berger

Lower Fraser River. As the crew heads back into the grip of civilization, Oliver Berger takes a moment at the helm to catch a selfie with the Port Mann bridge. Photo: Oliver Berger

This journey of a lifetime includes some amazing time in nature. Connecting with the river, learning about the geography and history of the landscape, and the life that lives and breathes from it. The trip is also a great opportunity to grow and learn. Team building, conflict resolution, communication, and critical thinking are all important aspects of the SLLP program.

If you consider yourself a sustainability leader or motivator in your community, this may be for you. We seek applicants from all over British Columbia who dream of starting, or who may already be working on, sustainability initiatives and/or projects in their communities.

With skilled facilitators and guides, you travel downstream—mostly in Voyageur canoes and river rafts, with a few shuttles in between. Throughout the journey, you discuss many different sustainability issues within your group as well as with communities and people along the route. You identify and build upon your own talents and develop a formal plan to help make your project a reality.

The 1,400 km SLLP journey down the Fraser River. Map: www.rivershed.com

The 1,400 km SLLP journey down the Fraser River. Map: www.rivershed.com

Oliver Berger, a 2016 SLLP participant, grew up in the Cariboo area and currently lives in Williams Lake. He is working on a community sustainability project that involves integrating an improved system for waste management at rest areas, aiming to better redirect waste and recyclables coming from travellers and road-trippers cruising the highways in and out of the region.

“The SLLP trip last year was truly inspiring,” said Berger. “Being together with other like-minded individuals in an outdoor-classroom setting directly on the Fraser River just makes your mind flow with so many great ideas. So much so, my project started changing daily. With the help of my new ‘river family’ and the river, of course, we redirected that energy into one solid project idea and came through with an amazing plan.”

Berger is happy to say he has made positive progress on his project and is currently awaiting approval on some highway signage upgrades. More about his project can be read on The Rivershed Society’s blog at www.rivershed.com/project-news/lets-get-this-project-going.

Berger was part of a group of nine who took the SLLP trip in 2016. “I am happy to say most of us still keep in touch, as well as continue to help each other work through our sustainability projects. We created a great network with each other and with the people we met along the river.”

Since last year’s program, exclusive articles, personalized presentations, epic videos, and even beautiful murals have all come into reality. Conservation efforts are growing fabulously from the Fraser River Basin all the way to the reaches of the Tatlayoko Valley. Cigarette butt waste is getting attention in the Coquitlam region; read more about this project in Megan Rempel’s article in this issue at http://www.thegreengazette.ca/cigarette-recycling-campaign-project/. This progression is thanks in part to some dedicated ‘river family’ members and in part to the Sustainable Living Leadership Program.

This year, the program runs from July 20 to August 14. To qualify, participants must be 19 years of age or older and physically fit. Community volunteer experience is an asset. The application deadline is April 30.
Get more information and apply today at www.rivershed.com.

The Rivershed Society of B.C. is a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to conserve, protect, and restore the health of BC riversheds in this generation. RSBC is made up of a voluntary board of directors, a small staff, annual programs and events, and many volunteers, members, and donors. RSBC works with numerous watershed stewardship groups, First Nations, government, and community leaders throughout the Fraser River Basin and British Columbia. www.rivershed.com.

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(original link http://www.thegreengazette.ca/journey-of-a-lifetime-on-the-fraser-river-july-20-august-14/ )