This August, spend three weeks exploring and learning about parts of British Columbia most people never get to see—it will change the way you look at this province and its most spectacular river system. It will also help you plan out that sustainability project you have been thinking about for a while.
From August 1st to 25th, participants in the Rivershed Society of BC’s (RSBC) Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) will journey by raft, canoe, van and on foot from the Fraser River’s headwaters near Valemount, BC, to where it meets the shores of Vancouver, 1,400 kilometers downstream.
You will travel through ‘off-the-beaten-track ‘parts of BC, accompanied by skilled facilitators and guides, who interpret the geography, biology and history of the landscape. You will learn from and be inspired by RSBC’s extensive network of First Nation and non-native community leaders that you meet as you pass through their communities.
Team building, conflict resolution, communication and critical thinking are an important part of the program. Through the program, you discuss sustainability issues, build on your talents, and gain the skills and confidence you need to make a difference in your community.
While on the trip, you develop a formal plan for your sustainability project, which you will implement in your community after the trip.
Many SLLP graduates have gone on to do great things:
Magdalena Angel, an SLLP 2009 alumni, developed a composting project for Quest University in Squamish. Upon returning to school after the trip, she was elected Minister of Environmental Affairs on Student Council and had a composting unit built and installed in the university’s Atrium Café.
Taking part in the SLLP inspired Magdalena to organize the Great Bear Rainforest Youth Paddle, a cross-cultural canoe journey with a crew of young leaders who paddled a portion of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline super tanker route. The group canoed 110 kms in June 2012, from Hartley Bay to Kiel, circumnavigated Gil Island, then returned to Hartley Bay. A documentary about the paddle is expected to be complete this summer. Visit www.gbryouthpaddle.org for details.
Leif Douglass, a 2011 alumni and Thompson River University (TRU) student in Kamloops, focused his sustainability project on banning the sale of disposable plastic bottles on campus. After his SLLP trip, Leif was elected to the Students’ Union and worked on the plastic bottle issue with the Students for Sustainability campaign, collecting 2,700 signatures in support of the ban. As a result, TRU created an official evidence-based review process, hearing presentations from Leif and the Students’ Union, Coca-Cola, Nestle, the Bottling Association of Canada and others. The TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability is about to make a decision on the matter, and will forward their recommendation to TRU’s Board of Governors.
Jacquie Lanthier, a 2012 alumni and school teacher in Gold Bridge chose to create a salmon unit plan as her sustainability project, which she has now implemented in her classroom. The unit teaches students about the role of salmon in a rivershed ecosystem, human impacts on salmon health, climate change concerns, renditions of a salmon run, and the salmon’s life cycle. The unit plan even includes creative projects such as salmon print-making and song writing. In addition, Jacquie’s class has heard presentations from local stewards and DFO staff, and has even taken part in a fish dissection.
The SLLP, now in its tenth season, is seeking applicants for the 2013 trip. The program’s host, the Rivershed Society of BC, encourages anyone with an interest in sustainability or community development to apply. To qualify, participants must be 19 years of age or older and physically fit. Community volunteer experience is an asset. The application deadline is May 31st.
For more information or to apply visit: www.rivershed.com
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Interviews with SLLP alumni and facilitators, and photos/video of past trips are available.
Rivershed Society of BC