The Rivershed Society of BC (RSBC) is marking twenty years as a non-profit organization committed to improving the health of BC’s longest river, the Fraser. It was Fin Donnelly`s “Swim for Life” down the length of the Fraser that sparked the inception of RSBC in 1996. The Society has been actively delivering public education programs, community initiatives and building stewardship capacity in the Fraser River Basin ever since.
Anniversary celebrations got underway with the RSBC AGM and annual dinner cruise on the Fraser aboard the MV Native of Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours in New Westminster last month. Next on the docket is the 13th annual Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP), which takes participants on an ultimate 25-day 1,400 km wilderness travel experience down one of the world’s greatest salmon rivers, the mighty Fraser River.
In line with the RSBC’s vision of “Salmon flourishing in rivers; people flourishing in communities,” the participants will travel by canoe, raft, shuttle van and on foot from the Fraser’s headwaters near Mount Robson to the shores of Vancouver. Days will be spent learning about stewardship and designing their own sustainability projects to implement in their communities upon their return home.
This year, two of the nine participants who have been chosen are from Vancouver. Orion Radies plans to produce a short film documentary of his SLLP experience, while David Tracey will focus on eco-tourism marketing of the SLLP.
Travelling with Orion and David are Megan Rempel of Coquitlam; Oliver Berger of Williams Lake; Candice Ford of Tatlayoko Lake; Simran Lehal of Williams Lake; John Lewis of Coquitlam; Petra Markova of Port Coquitlam; and Simon Zukowski of Victoria.
The trip begins July 14th and will have the participants traveling through ten of BC’s fourteen biogeoclimatic zones, from the source of the Fraser River near Mount Robson to the Strait of Georgia. The group of community leaders will study watersheds, salmon, resource management and learn how to lower their ecological footprint.
“We are excited to see these nine individuals learn and grow over the course of the program,” said Fin Donnelly. “We look forward to the positive impacts they will make in their communities after the Sustainable Living Leadership Program wraps up for the season.”
After three weeks away, their canoe will pull in at the Jericho Sailing Centre on Saturday, August 6th, where they will camp for the night, thanks to the Jericho Sailing Centre Association who allow the SLLP to use the facilities. A graduation ceremony will take place the next morning on August 7th before the SLLP participants head home.
Later in August, the Society will culminate its 20th anniversary celebrations with FraserFEST on the 27th and 28th, including a Vancouver to North Shore group bike ride and canoe paddle, with a festival at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf.
The RSBC is a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to protect, conserve and restore the health of BC riversheds in this generation. RSBC comprises 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. More information at: http://rivershed.com
The Sustainable Living Leadership Program is proudly supported by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Gainey Foundation.
MEDIA INTERVIEWS: Interviews with Fin Donnelly, and SLLP participants / facilitators / advisors are available upon request.
Director of Communications
Rivershed Society of BC
Phone: (604) 992-4769