Canoe on the Fraser River by Brock Endean

About River Clinics

About River Clinics

River Clinics are 3- to 6-day canoe journeys that run in multiple regions of the Fraser Watershed. These outdoor programs bring together groups of individuals from various backgrounds to connect with each other and the local environment. Participants are inspired by the wilderness of BC, while learning ways to make significant and lasting change. The Rivershed Society of BC (RSBC) launched the first River Clinic in 2018 on the Lower Fraser River.

The project emerged from a need for RSBC to have more accessible outdoor education trips, giving more people the opportunity to have life-changing experiences in nature. Two graduates of the Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) began planning shorter, localized trips that would expand RSBC’s impact in communities.Our team is working to create River Clinics in each of the six regions of the Fraser Watershed over the next 3-4 years. Regions include:

Map of the regions of the Fraser River Basin.
  1. Fraser Headwaters
  2. Nechako
  3. Cariboo/Chilcotin
  4. Thompson
  5. Fraser Canyon
  6. Lower Fraser

Every River Clinic has specific deliverables directly related to the target audience and region. Overall, River Clinics intend to:

  • Create/expand networks of sustainability champions within BC watersheds;
  • Increase leadership capabilities of participants;
  • Give access to outdoor nature experiences that are both affordable and educational;
  • Promote collaboration of community groups in each region;
  • Educate participants on attributes of their local watershed;
  • Teach responsible ways to use outdoor spaces and lower impact;
  • Share knowledge on challenges the local watershed faces;
  • Grow awareness and understanding of local First Nation relationships to the land;

RSBC aims to create a strong foundation that provides support for initiation of River Clinics in every region of the Fraser Watershed. We are seeking funding to develop these systems.

The following programs are currently offered annually:

River Clinic for Environmental Leaders (RCEL) 

Lower Fraser River: Glen Valley to Richmond

The RCEL aims to connect teams of student leaders from various campuses in the Lower Mainland. A clinic style approach is used to inspire and strengthen relationships between students and the Fraser River by providing space for team building, positive discussion and planning time in nature. Participants that attend different post-secondary institutions are paired together and asked to complete a community environmental project upon completion of the program. The facilitators support each student group as they plan and execute their chosen shared initiative.

River Clinic for Empowered Youth (RCEY)

Upper Nechako River: Cheslatta Falls to Greer Creek

The RCEY teaches young environmental leaders the skills they need to feel confident in an outdoor setting, while delivering detailed curriculum about the Nechako River and the challenges it faces. A field course style approach is used to help participants understand the effects of climate change on their local environment and give them tools for initiating change. During this time participants both reinforce the connection with their watershed as well as find their voice to speak up in their community.

*Photo at top by Brock Endean