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:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 River Clinic programs are postponed until further notice. 

River Clinic for Environmental Leaders (RCEL) 

Lower Fraser River: Kwantlen (Glen Valley) to Musqueam (Richmond)

The RCEL connects student leaders from campuses across the Lower Fraser Region and inspires them to take action on Watershed CPR (Conserve, Protect, Restore). Participants travel by voyageur canoe down the Fraser River from Glen Valley to Richmond, while engaging in team building, workshops, and critical discussions. Through activity based learning, students develop strong relationships with their rivershed and each other. Participants are asked to share about current sustainability projects and are sent home with an improved student network that inspires collaboration.

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.

The following programs will be implemented this year:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 River Clinic programs are postponed until further notice. 

River Clinic for Coquitlam Youth

Coquitlam River

The RCCY takes youth on an educational eco-adventure by biking, hiking and camping in the Coquitlam Watershed. Through an activity-based curriculum, our facilitators and guest speakers engage participants by sharing the Coquitlam River’s history, significance to the community, current threats, and solutions. The RCCY promotes exploration of their local environment and gives youth confidence in an outdoor setting.

River Clinic for Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness

Stay tuned for more information on this 1-day paddle program.

*Photo at top by Brock Endean

Thank you to our River Clinics Sponsors: