International Rotary exchange students were in Nakusp for Remembrance Day ceremonies

International Rotary exchange students were in Nakusp for Remembrance Day ceremonies

Looking back at community through the ALN in 2013

From Nakusp to Haiti and back again, the community affected and was affected by the intelligence and action of its citizenry.

February

Terra Pondera a safe place for down-to-earth folks

If you walk past the NACFOR building heading north on 2nd Ave. then take a right, outside a lovely heritage house you’ll see the sign for Terra Pondera and Studio In Balance.

The clubhouse has been part of the community for ten years now, and the studio a relatively new addition three or four years ago. The regular visitors to the beautiful building are a family that all come from different moms, and although they don’t live there, everyone who comes to the clubhouse feels at home.

Terra Pondera is a safe gathering place for the people who go there, originating as a space specifically for people with mental health issues to have as part of their treatment plan.

“It fulfills a function for people in the community,” said Ganishka Silverfox-Dann, who said the clubhouse isn’t just for people with mental health issues, it’s for anyone who could benefit from a positive social group.

“Mental health” can be a mysterious term for people, and it can carry a “crazy” stigma. Folks at Terra Pondera are aware of the label, and jokes were bandied around about being “certifiable” that made everybody laugh.

“There’s lots of jokes and humour,” said Silverfox-Dann, smiling.

March

Heat, spaghetti and hope: how a Canadian man found the heart of humanity in Haiti

Joe Desrochers love of Haiti is relatively new. His first trip to the Caribbean country was in April 2012, and came about because his aunt Claire has been helping for the past five years with different organizations helping the hard-hit nation.

It was through giving donations for projects in the country that Desrochers first became involved with Haiti. Wanting to see where his money was going, Desrochers decided to go on an 11-day “fact-finding” mission to the school and women’s co-op in Jeremie he was sending funds to.

It is clear from his journal that for Desrochers getting buildings up wasn’t enough. Although the construction of housing for more babies was important, it is the moments when the kids are able to be kids, laughing and playing, that give him the biggest reward.

“There’s nothing like 20 happy laughing kids to end the day,” he wrote during his first visit to the orphanage.

April

Dan Wiebe and Laurie Page honoured as community heroes

Nakusp Rotary has added two new names on its roster of Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Achievement award winners. Dr. Laurie Page was furnished with the title of Citizen of the Year and Box Lake Lumber’s Dan Wiebe was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award.

“Everyone does something for the community,” said Page, who also said she was very happy to be standing beside Dan Wiebe who she described as a local hero.

“I’m privileged to join the hallowed throng,” she said about receiving the Citizen of the Year honour.

Wiebe joked that if this was a lifetime achievement award, does that mean he’s close to death, which got the crowd laughing.

“I wouldn’t be who I am without many people,” he asserted, adding that his weaknesses were others’ strengths. Wiebe also said we are all blessed to be born in Canada and able to live the way we do, and that his kids were the greatest goal in his life.

May

Prevention is the morel of the fuel treatment story

Morels seem to feed on chaos, often showing up after fires or a disturbance of the land. SIFCo has been tromping through the forest to help reduce the impact of fire. Either way, it’s a win for the morels.

As part of Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology Researchers’ Meeting held on May 10 at the Memorial Hall in Silverton, B.C., Tyson Elhers (Tysig Ecological Research) and Stephan Martineau Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) led a field trip about interface fuel treatment and morels.

“Fires are getting hotter each year,” Martineau told the group, “so hot they’re not defendable.” But when fighting fires is not an option, prevention can be.

“Education is a big component,” said Martineau, who added that privately-owned forests are generally not treated to reduce the amount of potential fire fuel.

And the mushrooms? What about morels?

“They’re here,” Elhers said, grinning, “Now we just need the right conditions for them to grow.” Luckily, the forecast is calling for rain, great for both morels and fire prevention.

July

Lemon Creek opens pit houses to public for third year

For the third year in a row, archaeologists from Hamilton College in upstate New York have invited the public to come learn more about the people who used to spend their winters in the Slocan Valley thousands of years ago.

Professors and organizers Nathan Goodale and Alissa Nauman have been opening up their findings to public tours since 2011. In their first year, 150 curious people came to see what was happening, and the number of visitors doubled for their second year.

August

Nakusp Hot Springs footbridge opened with a party

The new Nakusp Hot Springs footbridge was opened with fanfare on Aug. 17. Two stages had live music, and there was food, face painting, beer and wine, and even a spot for massage.

September

Burton City Daze play in late summer this year

This year, Burton held its dazzling Daze at the end of summer on Sept. 6 and 7, perhaps put off by the heavy rains that came last June.

Missing and missed this year was the La Di Da parade, a crowd favourite, but the canoe-bike-run triathlon was once again a full mix of pathos (for those who stayed up late the night before), slapstick, and all around fun.

October

New youth centre opens with serious fun in Nakusp

Friday night in any town, anywhere, is the night that energy reaches some kind of peak level and so a social gathering is the thing to find. Nakusp is no different, and this last Friday night, about 60 young people found their way to the new youth centre at 212B Broadway (next to Cut-Rite Meats) for the opening of the Nakusp and Area Youth Society’s new space.

Outdoor Ed. provides real-world lessons for students

Making tarp shelters, learning firearm and boat safety, getting Search and Rescue skills to help people in need: it’s all possible at Nakusp Secondary School through Outdoor Education. Instructor Dorian Boswell has developed a curriculum that will give kids hunting, WHIMIS, road flagging and boating safety certification as well hands-on experience practising survival skills that could be the difference between life and death in the bush.

The program is popular with the students who take it because not only have a great time, they also see how it could help them after they’ve left school.