by Sue Skidmore

We all join the West Kootenay EcoSociety for different reasons…my push was alcohol. There, I hope I got your attention.

I joined the EcoSociety as a member and have started taking on a few “baby-steps” volunteer jobs, like writing this blog, but it took me a while to get to this point. 

Contrary to how this sounds, drinking does not play a big part in my life but making new friends in a new community does, so off I went two years ago to Nelson Green Drinks and met Montana Burgess, who was then the organizer. I was impressed with the type of people with whom I sat around and shared a few hours of after-work-type chat and I wanted more.  I kept showing up, and listening — and hearing about the EcoSociety.

They seemed to be everywhere, at the fabulous Cottonwood market, running the Kootenay Rideshare carpooling website, hosting the fish-spawning celebration and Visitor’s Centre that I saw on one of my outings, and of course Jumbo. What the heck was Jumbo? I decided to learn and was excited to know EcoSociety was not going to let the Jumbo Valley get developed.

Nelson seemed to be clotted with societies, groups, support groups, movements, but the EcoSociety was prevalent and supporting the things that I held dear.

During our Federal Election I spoke out heartily for people to get out and vote, expressing their right to have a say in the Canada they love. I have been a veggie gardener for years and here in Nelson and area, food security and local food sourcing is a BIG thing. Wild places, left alone, whether I ever see them or not, are dear to my heart. Climate change, the part caused by humans infuriates and scares the heck out of me. I see Rideshare carpool website as step away from every home owning one or more vehicles. Education around the places, animals and plants of our region is a must for all citizens; I care deeply because I am a former elementary teacher and I see how wilderness education can change our children’s’ views of the world. 

But most of all I would say I am proud a mom of four daughters and a gramma who sees the big picture of the Canada that I want, the Canada that too many people are too tired to push for, the Canada and the wise practices that we MUST protect. This is why I am a West Kootenay EcoSociety member and volunteer. I’ve started slowly, like a fledgling, but am spreading my wings to fly through our Kootenay community.

Will you take the first step, like Sue, to protect our natural world and sign-up as a West Kootenay EcoSociety member today?