Posts

Okanagan Blogger, mom of three

What do you love about the Okanagan? 

I love that the Okanagan Valley has such unique ecosystems and so much diversity. There is always so much to do, learn about and explore, from swimming and canoeing on its beautiful lakes, to rock climbing and hiking to reach spectacular views and even skiing and pond skating in the winter. Pair these great activities with the ever changing seasons and it’s easy to see why people come from around the world to visit, work and study in our beautiful valley. 

What do you worry about when you think about the Okanagan and the environment in the future? Why is a healthy environment important to you?

I worry that people don’t know enough about the uniqueness of our area and because of this lack of knowledge they do not understand the importance of stewardship. We live in a “throwaway” culture and I think people forget that we cannot treat our environment that way. If we throw away what we have, we may lose it forever. A healthy environment means a healthy individuals and a healthy community. The two go hand in hand.

What will your own personal legacy for the Okanagan will be? What are you most proud of?

This is a good question. I feel like I am on a journey to help families know more about the Okanagan Valley through my blog so that they will have the opportunities to connect with the land and make beautiful memories together. This feels like a small thing right now but perhaps it will grow over time.

What do you think about a household levy of $10/average/year? What could the benefits of a South Okanagan Conservation Fund be?


I think that this is a very reasonable amount. I personally would be willing to pay more. It’s the cost of a couple specialty coffees at Starbucks at least. There are many benefits to this fund, probably more than I can even think about. To be sure there will be naysayers (there always are with any change). However, this is a very small investment for our future. I would encourage people to step outside and go for a walk, look around and ask themselves “do we want our children, our grandchildren and even our great-grandchildren to enjoy good health and access to plenty of beautiful land during their lifetime?” I hope the answer is a resounding “yes!”.

 

Johanna Saaltink with daughter Elmie Saaltink and granddaughter Lia McKinnon

 

Three Generations of Adventurers

What do you love about the Okanagan? 

Johanna: I love the open spaces and the beautiful views.

Elmie: I love the colours. They’re very calming colours – the yellows, creams, blues. And I love the water, the contrast between the dry land and the water.

Lia: I love all the different habitat types. The fact that you can go from the lake to alpine meadows, wetlands and dry forest all within a short drive. There are so many amazing trails up in the mountains and so many opportunities to get outside and experience it all.

What do you worry about when you think about the Okanagan and the environment in the future? Why is a healthy environment important to you?

Johanna: For me the increase in population is a worry.

Elmie: There’s a lot of pressure to develop all the land that’s available. And that development happens in some very fragile habitats. I’m afraid that once it’s gone, it’s very, very difficult to get it back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Lia: Grasslands or shrub steppes which are really endangered ecosystems tend to be seen as wastelands and there are a lot of species at risk that are dependent on those habitats. These are old growth systems of the desert so these plants are hundreds of years old and they require a certain lack of disturbance.

What do you think about a household levy of $10/average/year? What could the benefits of a South Okanagan Conservation Fund be?

Lia: I think it’s a great idea. Having those funds available is so helpful for local groups to leverage outside funds. If you collect $10 per household you can probably get $20 per household from federal and provincial sources and other organizations. Those matching contributions are significant, enough to take on bigger projects.

Elmie: I think about my children and grandchildren and I really believe the land doesn’t belong to us. We’re borrowing it from future generations. We should be taking care of it.