A group of seven youth from across B.C. are heading out this week to begin a 25-day odyssey on the mighty Fraser River.
They have been selected to take part in the ninth annual Sustainable Living Leadership Program, run by the not-forprofit Rivershed Society of B.C.
The goal is to foster sustainable living and responsible community and resource development.
"There's no better way to learn about sustainability than to be out there in the environment, on the river, going from community to community and witnessing the issues," said program founder Fin Donnelly, MP for New Westminster, Coquitlam and Port Moody, in a recent release. Donnelly has twice swum the Fraser River to raise awareness about river ecosystems.
The group's itinerary includes a lunch stop at the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster on Aug. 24.
The journey will include travel by canoe, raft and foot from the Fraser River's headwaters near Mount Robson to where it meets the shores of Vancouver some 1,400 kilometres away.
Participants will convene in Mount Robson Provincial Park, near Valemount, where the Fraser River, and their journey, begins.
In the river's upper reaches, participants learn about the relationship between forests, river sheds and the logging industry while hiking the Goat River trail.
They will also visit an ancient cedar forest grove east of Prince George - home to some of the province's last remaining old-growth trees - and tour a pulp mill in Quesnel. In the Fraser Canyon, participants will learn about the importance of the Fraser for fishing and water in the dry interior plateau.
They will also stay at a traditional First Nations village, visit sites that have been used as summer camps by First Nations for centuries, witness salmon dip-netting techniques and see a demonstration by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
For more, see www.rivershed.com.