We’re into our second week of our Annual Membership Drive, and we’re picking up the pace. You can sign up for a membership right now! The stories about why so many people care about the EcoSociety are flying in and I’m so excited to be sharing the experience of one of our outstanding volunteers, Rachel.

Rachel has spent nine months of her vacation abroad helping out with our 100% Renewable Kootenays initiative, and has taken on a major leadership role in building and organizing our volunteer team to be strong and resilient. What is so amazing to me about Rachel’s dedication is that she has enthusiastically committed to improving the conditions in the Kootenays even though she won’t be here to see the results. 

Here’s what Rachel had to say about her experience with the EcoSociety:

My name is Rachel and I’m originally from Melbourne, Australia. I moved to Nelson in October last year after visiting and almost instantly falling in love with the place. I love living so close to the lake and surrounded by mountains, I love that there are so many people I share values with here and a much stronger sense of community than anywhere I’ve lived before. 

Connection with people, a more meaningful way of being, and new ideas were things I was seeking when I left home for North America. I didn’t know where I would end up for my year abroad but I knew wherever it was it would be important for me to get involved and give back to the community. 
 
Much like Nelson itself, I found the West Kootenay EcoSociety by chance, when I attended a public talk at Selkirk College’s Peace Conference. A volunteer for the 100% Renewable Kootenays campaign was there and asked me to sign their petition to support the region transitioning to100% renewable by 2050. The campaign really appealed to me as I’d increasingly been thinking about the importance of environmental protection, and reducing and adapting to the effects of climate change, but had wondered how I could get involved. 
 
What I found in this campaign was a group of kind, intelligent and committed people, many of whom will remain my friends for years to come. I love this campaign because of its commitment to grassroots activism and being a genuine part of the local community. I’ve had so many opportunities to learn and develop my leadership and organizing skills through my involvement with 100% Renewable Kootenays, and have found a new passion and direction for my social activism work. 
 
I’ll be forever grateful that I found this organization powered by amazing people and encourage anyone interested in environmental protection or contributing to a vibrant, just and kind community to support the West Kootenay EcoSociety by donating, signing up for membership and/or volunteering.”
 
Thank you for all that you have done for the Kootenays, Rachel! We are lucky to have you working with us, and we’re looking forward to seeing what great projects you apply your skills to in Australia.
 
 
Rachel with her partner Ally, woofing near Nelson.