STEWARDSHIP | Adventurous Change-Makers Wanted for Unique Fraser River Journey

WR-Rivershed-Society-PicturThe Rivershed Society of BC is looking for environmental leaders who are up for the trip—and the challenge—of a lifetime. The not-for-profit organization is inviting people who dream of starting, or who may already be working on sustainability initiatives to apply for the Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP).The SLLP is an eye-opening 25-day educational program that takes participants from the Fraser River’s headwaters near Mount Robson, to where it meets the shores of Vancouver 1,400 kilometers downstream. Traveling by canoe, raft, shuttle van, and on foot, you explore ‘off-the-beaten-track’ parts of BC, learning about the geography, biology, and history of the landscape from skilled facilitators and guides.In the river’s upper reaches, participants hike through a 2,000-year-old ancient cedar grove and paddle through the Robson Valley. In the Fraser canyon, you ride whitewater rapids and observe traditional First Nations fisheries. In the lower stretches, you visit a working organic farm and paddle past log booms and Big Box stores while learning about the impacts of urban and industrial development on salmon habitat.

Team-building, conflict resolution, communication, and critical thinking are important parts of the program. Throughout the journey, you discuss sustainability issues, identify and build upon your own talents, and develop a formal plan for your sustainability project.

Alex Ensworth, a 2014 SLLP participant, is almost finished his sustainability project, which he undertook with his partner Katie Furness-Moore. The pair are creating a photo-journal titled “Faces of the Fraser” to profile people who live, work, and depend upon the Fraser River. Their goal with the project is to raise awareness of the many and diverse uses of the Fraser River, and to show how residents, farmers, and many other British Columbians benefit from living near it.

Natalya Melnychuk, another 2014 SLLP participant, is creating “Chase by Choice,” a promotional booklet highlighting the lives of individuals that have chosen to make Chase their home. The booklet will be used as part of the welcome package for newcomers to the area, to showcase the diversity of active and engaged community members from a range of backgrounds to promote rural living.

When asked about her experience on the SLLP, Melnychuk said, “I would definitely recommend the SLLP to other people. The SLLP has made me feel more intimately connected to my watershed. The trip has given me a greater appreciation of the diversity of people as well as flora and fauna that depend on the river system.”
The SLLP, now in its 12th year, is seeking applicants for the 2015 trip. Anyone with an interest in sustainability or community development is encouraged 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 April 30.
This summer, 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.

For more information or to apply visit www.rivershed.com.

Local Fundraiser for Sustainable Living Leadership Program down the Fraser RiverThe Quesnel River Watershed Alliance and Dockside Haircuts of Williams Lake are working together to raise funds for this year’s 2015 Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) trip down the Fraser River for a participant from the Cariboo Region.
This is Dockside Haircuts’ fourth year anniversary, and the company is giving back to the community of Williams Lake by raffling a basket of men’s/women’s hair products by Goldwell valued at $175. Monies raised will help fund a local participant for the SLLP Program. Visit Dockside Haircuts today at 147C First Ave N, Williams Lake, BC, or contact (250) 392-6386 or chrissuzb@gmail.com for more info and to enter. Draw date is May 9.
If you or someone you know is adventurous and passionate about sustainable living in your community, be sure to register. The application deadline is May 31. Be one of 10 participants to journey a 1400-km trip down the Fraser River. Paddle the Quesnel River Watershed Alliance’s 34-foot voyageur canoe Cedar Spirit and raft with Fraser River Rafting. More information and registration for the SLLP journey can be found at www.rivershed.com.

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