Fraser River adventure inspires B.C.’s up and coming leaders

The Rivershed Society of B.C. is seeking participants for its three-week Sustainable Living Leadership Program taking place in August.

The Rivershed Society of B.C. is seeking participants for its three-week Sustainable Living Leadership Program taking place Aug. 2 to 26 this summer.

Now in its ninth year, the leadership field course is designed to inform and inspire young community leaders from across the province, says Richelle Giberson, program spokesperson.

Participants will journey by foot, van, canoe and raft from the Fraser River’s headwaters near Valemount to where it meets the Pacific Ocean, 1,400 kilometers away.

Anyone with an interest in sustainability or community development is encouraged to apply for this year’s program. Participants must be 19 years of age or older and physically fit. Community volunteer experience is an asset.

The application deadline is May 18. For more information or to apply visit

Giberson says the Rivershed Society believes that real environmental change starts in communities which is why the Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) was created.

The program educates through hands-on experience, and opens the door to a network of community leaders in the Fraser River watershed.

It also gives participants the time to develop and plan projects they can implement in their own communities.

Research shows that programs like this are important catalysts for environmental and community development.

Sharman Learie, coordinator of the Adventure Studies program at Thompson Rivers University, researched the SLLP as part of his masters thesis and found that the program is “indeed creating environmental leaders.”

“The journey itself gives participants ample reflective time to devise a plan of transferring thought into action once they are off the river…” Learie says. “All of the participants mentioned regular interactions with facilitators and each other in their efforts to carry out new or renewed environmental activity.”

Lakecity naturalist and historical interpreter Mary Forbes is an SLLP 2010 alumni and now director of the Potato House Sustainable Community Society in Williams Lake.

She started the society just two months after returning from the river adventure.

With community support the society was able to purchase and begin restoring the heritage Potato House which now serves as a public space for all kinds of sustainability and heritage initiatives and partnerships.

Forbes said she was inspired by the experience on the river itself, and by the trip leaders and facilitators.

“I came away with a small project that I really wanted to go huge with — and I successfully did that.”


On Feb. 22, Forbes was given a Community Spirit Award by Williams Lake mayor and council in recognition of her hard work.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 president David Brideau salutes the Cenotaph at city hall during a past Remembrance Day services in Williams Lake Monday, Nov. 11. Brideau, who served three years with the Canadian military in Edmonton, was the parade commander during the Legion’s Remembrance Day service. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake legion looks to upgrade lounge, patio, to be COVID compliant

Upgrades will require significant financial investment, Branch 139 president David Brideau said

Williams Lake’s Daine Dubois (left) and 150 Mile House’s Isaac Bedford have been named as recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Tribune file photos)
Two Cariboo athletes honoured with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

“You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families.”

A worker at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
B.C. Mining Month celebrates innovation

Mining has long been important to the Williams Lake economy

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read