As the mother of four wonderful young women and grandmother of a two-year-old, I’ve reached a satisfying stage of life. In her book ‘Grandmothers of the Light’, Paula Gunn Allen eloquently describes this time as one when a woman’s strengths turn to a circle wider than our own children—to the broader community. Volunteering with the Conservancy provides a way to do this. With these goals in mind, and after three decades working as a landscape architect I’m beginning to contribute to events and activities that address invasive plants, tree selection, planting and management, responsible water use, and site development in general.
The climate emergency is at a frightening and dangerous point, while at the same time there are an unprecedented number of genuine opportunities for societal change. All going well, we will look back on this year as a tipping point when the public consciousness and political will lined up with the economic viability of renewable energy. Meanwhile, as individuals we each face the question of how to support and drive change in a practical and meaningful way. Involvement in the Conservancy, whether as a participant, donor or volunteer provides a valuable point of engagement by increasing public awareness and understanding of any number of environmental issues.
The Southern Gulf Islands are one the most beautiful regions in Canada, while also being one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of both human habitation and climate change. This underscores the importance of both public education and the establishment of specific protections. The Conservancy addresses these needs, and by volunteering I’m learning about how to mitigate threats while working to preserve and protect lands that host unique and fragile ecosystems.
The important work done by the Conservancy over the past two decades includes eelgrass and bull kelp mapping, bird counts, habitat restoration, shoreline care, homeowner education, invasive plant removal and the establishment of St. John Point Regional Park. I look forward to the next year with relish as we continue working to strengthen the human community, while establishing respect for and reciprocity with the natural world in all its glorious complexity.