The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society has a new co-ordinator and sustainable life educator.
Vanessa Moberg started in the position on Jan. 2, and said she is already interested in chatting with residents about all things conservation.
“My job will be a nice balance of hands-on environmental work and not-for-profit administration,” Moberg said. “I’ll be in charge of fundraising, accounting, reporting, planning, and support along with liaising with the board of directors.”
Moberg has come on board following the retirement of outgoing executive director Marg Evans who retired in December after being with the society for almost 15 years.
“She’s an avid environmentalist and longtime conservationist, so I have big shoes to fill and I am inspired to put my very best into this position,” Moberg said.
Moberg said she was drawn to apply for the position because of the society’s reputation.
“The Conservation Society is a small organization with a big heart, and their reach is astounding,” she said. “School children of the Cariboo Chilcotin benefit from both the Water Wise and Waste Wise educational programming which helps to establish environmental stewardship in our up-and-coming generations.”
Beginning last fall, staff and volunteers gleaned surplus vegetables from a local farm that is stored in a brand new root cellar and made available to local food banks and soup kitchens as needed.
“This reduces food waste while helping to feed the hungry, and it is such a win-win scenario,” Moberg said, noting it has quickly become a favourite project of hers.
Originally from Newfoundland and Labrador, Moberg has a degree in business administration and experience running non-profit organizations.
She was the executive director of Computers for Schools (CFS) Newfoundland & Labrador, an organization she said was comparable to the one she is working for now.
“Our mandate was to refurbish donated computers and distribute them to schools, libraries, and not-for-profit groups,” she said. “I learned that we can achieve amazing societal benefits by extending the life of the things we have and I already see parallels with many of the Conservation Society’s programs including Bikes for All, Skates for All, and the Food Gleaning project.”
Moberg said she thinks she has always been a conservationist at heart.
“My mother ensured I only wore cloth diapers and ate homemade baby food, and the soundtrack of my childhood was Baby Beluga by Raffi,” she said. “I fondly remember going trouting as a little girl with my father in central Newfoundland and encountering lots of moose along the way.”
By 12 years of age, after seeing a film on the wolf cull, she had already declared to the world that she would become an animal rights activist when she grew up.
She moved the area two years ago when she married local filmmaker Robert Moberg.
“Robert and I are avid outdoor enthusiasts, very passionate about the conservation of British Columbia’s ecosystems,” she said. “In our upcoming documentary, Giants Among Us: Rick Hansen and the Great White Sturgeon, we focus on the many challenges our watersheds face, and showcase the people working to save our rivers.”
A special screening for Williams Lake residents is being planned for January 2017, she added.