Whistler’s largest remaining intact upland/wetland complex is again being threatened by development. The proposal for a Whistler International Campus (university) would see intensive development of the uplands on the 77 acre site which is owned by the Vancouver based Zen family who are long time developers. With nearly a million square feet of phased built infrastructure, including buildings of up to six storeys, the site would provide accommodation for 1400 students, a 400 person lecture theatre, as well as all the supporting infrastructure needed for students and the 400+ staff.
At the December 3rd council meeting current Mayor and Council will consider whether to allow the development proposal to enter a process to up-zone the site for a university development. Wetlands and the uplands that support them are of huge importance as habitat due to their biodiversity, but also as a natural flood defence, water filter and carbon sink. With over 70% of Whistler’s original wetlands lost it is vital we preserve this site. Find out more information in our campaigns pages relating to the importance of wetlands, whistlers wetland history, areas under threat and some specifics relating to the Whistler International Campus.
Join Raincoast, Patagonia and Beyond Boarding for a screening of “Groundswell”, including a Q&A with First Nations and community leaders.
First Nations, a majority of British Columbians, Raincoast, & thousands more have spoken loud and clear: we stand together for an oil-free coast.
With a decision on Enbridge’s Northern Gateway and an application for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion both due this year, 2013 marks a critical point for the future of our coast. Get informed. Be inspired. Join Raincoast in furthering efforts to keep our coast oil-free.
See the trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/
What: Screenings of Groundswell hosted by Patagonia, Raincoast and Beyond Boarding.
Where: Mourice Young Millennium Place 4335 Blackcomb Way, Whistler.
How much: Admission by donation
How: Reserve a seat online:
please book at www.GroundswellWhistler.ev
**Reservations not mandatory, but best to ensure you get a seat!
BC Rivers Day is a province-wide event, held every year on the last Sunday in September. Established in 1980 and coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Council (ORC), it has been proclaimed by communities across BC and attracts over 75,000 people to more than 100 events each year.
This event always offers a great day of celebration filled with fun for the whole family. Interactive activities include: guided voyageur canoe rides, a scavenger hunt, fish and insects on display, along with other fun and exciting nature related games.
As part of our upcoming AGM, AWARE will be screening Chasing Ice, the shocking documentary about the disappearance of the worlds glaciers. After the long hot summer the glaciers surrounding Whistler have shrunk down to sizes not witnessed before. However, James Bolag of National Geographic fame (his ‘The Great Thaw‘ edition was their top seller) sets out evidence in clear, undeniable, stunning, photographic form to make it clear that this is a global issue of greater magnitude than the world is realizing. As the glaciers melt at an exponential rate, Bolag shows through stark, beautiful and profoundly moving imagery, just how likely it is becoming that we will witness glaciers that have existed for millions of years disappearing within the lifetimes of ourselves or our children.
Check out the trailer and join us for this amazing masterpiece of science and art. We will be at the Whistler Museum 6-8pm on Wednesday October 2nd.
The Sea-to-Sky Clean Air Society and the Squamish Watershed Society in partnership with the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the District of Squamish have announced 2 upcoming planting events intended to restore and enhance ecological values at 3 riparian (meaning near a natural water course) sites. Planting of native species will take place on Friday September 27th, 2013 from 10 am to noon near Spruce Grove Park in Whistler.
Elementary school students and other interested members of the community are invited to participate. Food will be provided for volunteers. “Native trees and plants provide countless ecological and community benefits, from supporting clean air and mitigating climate change, to providing soil stability and habitat for species like the blue listed (at risk)
red legged frog;” said Kim Slater, Executive Director of the Sea-to-Sky Clean Air Society and Project Manager. Planting native plant species is the focus of the Sea-to-Sky Habitat Improvement Project, generously funded by CN and Tree Canada through a CN EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up granting program.
Volunteers are greatly needed and should meeting in Spruce Grove Park (Whistler) in front of the field house on the 27th. Make sure to dress for the elements and wear clothing and footwear that can get wet and dirty. Shovels and gloves will be provided. For more information or to volunteer, please contact: Kim Slater, seatoskycleanair [AT] gmail.com.
With 2014 expected to be an exciting year for AWARE, we are inviting applications to join our Board of Directors and become a part of taking us through the upcoming 25th anniversary year and beyond.
AWARE has a ‘working board’ meaning that the directors is very active in taking on tasks, making decisions and being ambassadors for the group. We estimate the monthly time commitment to be around eight hours as a general guide based on meeting attendance, prep and e-mail correspondence. However, Board Directors generally have specific tasks or interests that they choose to spend extra time overseeing also.
Volunteering to be a part of the AWARE Board of Directors is a great opportunity to use your skills for the benefit of the Whistler environment. We are looking for a wide range of skills, from accounting, to events, to managing volunteers, to running a business – essentially if you have passion, energy and enthusiasm we would love to have you involved!
If you would like to apply for a position please complete the application form below and return it to info at aware whistler.org. Applications are due by Sunday September 29th and will then be posted online for members to review prior to the AGM on Wednesday October 2nd at the Whistler Museum.
Here in Whistler we all know that we feel better after we spend time outside. Whether it’s hiking, biking, skiing or just sitting on a bench at Lost Lake, time spent outside is never time wasted. The link between nature and a feeling of well being has been recognized for a long time. In July of this year, the David Suzuki Foundation added more research to the case for spending time outside.
The 30×30 Nature Challenge engaged over 6000 people in a challenge to spend at least half an hour outside each day. The study, conducted in May of 2013, reported that participants ended the 30 days experiencing lower levels of stress and higher motivation as well as feeling more healthy and energized. Check out the full report for more insights… we’re off to go play outside!
Wetland ecosystems have incredible importance as areas of high biodiversity and immense habitat value. In fact, in the face of their global decline, their importance was recognized and they are the only ecosystem designated for conservation by international convention.
Environment Canada gives a fantastic overview of why wetlands are so vital:
Wetlands and Wildlife
Wetlands are important to species from many familiar classes of animals, as well as to less commonly known creatures.
Every drop of water contains microscopic zooplankton, which are a vital component of the food chain. The water’s surface and the wetland bottom are covered with insect eggs, larvae, and nymphs. Members of the fish, amphibian, and reptile groups are all dependent on the habitat provided by wetlands. Numerous bird and mammal species make extensive use of the water and its adjacent shores. These species can be important to humans economically or as indicators of environmental health.
How do wildlife species use wetlands?
Food and shelter are the primary requirements of life. Wetlands provide these functions for many species of animals that either live permanently within the wetland or visit periodically. Almost every part of a wetland, from the bottom up, is important to wildlife in some way. Frogs bury themselves in the muddy substrate to survive the winter, and some insects use bottom debris to form a protective covering. Fish swim and feed in wetlands, often eating the eggs of insects that have been deposited in the water. Wetland vegetation provides nesting materials and support structures to several bird species and is a major source of food to mammals, even those as large as moose. Small mammals use the lush vegetation at the edge of wetlands for cover and as a source of food, and they themselves are a food source for birds of prey. Each species has adapted to using the wetland and its surrounding area in a particular way.
The current Board of Directors have taken steps to create a formal strategic plan that will guide AWARE as it moves forwards. The formation of the plan has drawn on feedback collected from members and partners over the last few years, in addition to evaluating local issues to determine where AWARE has potential to make the greatest impact with its resources. Details of the Strategic Plan will be presented and discussed at AWARE’s upcoming Green Talk held this Wednesday, September 4th @ the Whistler Museum. With AWARE’s AGM just around the corner this meeting is a great chance to come and see what AWARE will be focusing on as well as understand options for if you would like to get involved.
The meeting will be followed by Green Drinks at Blacks Pub, 8pm
Dear AWARE Supporters,
We have a fantastic schedule for you in the coming weeks, check out the following poster for details: