By Montana Burgess, Executive Director

I’ve just come back from my parental leave and while I loved being there for the first months of my baby’s life, I missed you.

I’ve been back at the EcoSociety for two weeks now and I can say with all honesty that both taking care of my baby and the EcoSociety truly are labours of love. They have more in common than not. Both bring me such joy, but both have challenges, both keep me up at night, and both make my heart grow.

This summer when the wildfires made the air heavy and thick with smoke, I felt sad for my baby. I felt sad that their future is going to have many summers like this one. All the friends and neighbours I spoke with felt the same way. But I felt I also felt reassured and more certain than ever that when we work together with people from all backgrounds across our communities we are making a difference.

If we join the global movement, and get enough people to support the whole West Kootenay region to phase out fossil fuels and transition to 100% renewable energy in all homes and buildings, transportation, electricity and industry uses, as soon as possible (but no later than 2050) then we stand a chance in giving my child and every child a better future. I’m more motivated than every to work hard and love fiercely. And I’m sure as the EcoSociety we can do this together.

While I was taking care of my growing baby I know you didn’t stop caring and didn’t stop taking care of our collective environmental and social struggles, so thank you.

Thank you for visiting our Farmers’ Markets in Nelson: Cottonwood Saturday market, the Downtown Wednesday market, Marketfest, Gardenfest and the winter markets and craft fairs.

Thank you for continuing to be outraged by the continued efforts from Glacier Resorts Limited to develop the Qat’muk (Jumbo) Valley. It’s truly unbelievable they think their profits are most important than the Ktunaxa Nation’s rights to this sacred space.

Thank you for visiting the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre and learning about our Kootenay wilderness and ecosystems through our education programs at the Nature Centre.

Thank you for supporting your faith group to commit to renewable energy in its operations. Thank you for attending our Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Conference, and signing-up to show your support so Slocan, Nelson and the Regional District of the Central Kootenay could all commit to transitioning to 100% renewable energy at the community-level no later than 2050.

And thank you for standing strong together in your community for every environmental and social injustice that you face. We have many struggles and we can only win when we organize together to counter the big money and corporations that don’t have our communities’ best interests in mind.

There are big struggles ahead, but we can make big changes when we organize together.