I was drawn to the PWPA by the passion, tenacity and composition of its membership. The group was clearly tackling a tough issue that has long been a concern for my family. I grew up on an orchard and since water is so crucial to its existence, my dad was really active in the Peachland Irrigation District, water conservation efforts, and other community endeavors. It was instilled in us that citizen action and participation is somewhat of an obligation for those who can get involved.
I have a background in programme management in the non-profit sector, environmental studies, water security, grant writing, and organizational development and hoped that some of that might be relevant and useful to PWPA’s work. I also have a passion for exploring the outdoors, and have spent a fair amount of time skiing, horseback riding, and hiking in our watershed, and even worked at the Silver Lake Camp / Forestry Center for a summer.
Three years ago I moved back to Peachland and, shortly afterwards, found myself in Taryn Skalbania’s hospitable kitchen at my first PWPA meeting. I was mesmerized by the collective watershed knowledge and networks held by Taryn, Joe and Jessica Klein, Cory Sutton, and others. It was exciting to be at the table with Peachlanders I’d grown up with and those who had made this their home more recently, and who were all as appalled as I was about the devastation in the hills above us. Suddenly, our membership expanded and we went from home-based meetings to stretching the capacity of the Old School House, and now meetings via Zoom. Along the way, I volunteered to take notes of our conversations.