Volunteer Spotlight on the Bulkley Valley

Cindy Verbeek spearheads A Rocha’s work in Northern BC, caring for streams in the Bulkley Valley watershed. As the solo staff person working on the ground, she has surrounded herself with a band of able-bodied and able-minded volunteers who are helping make the dream of a fish hatchery in the town of Houston, BC a reality.

One such volunteer is Regina Meints. A Rocha Canada Co-founder Leah Kostamo recently chatted with Regina to find out a bit more her involvement with A Rocha.

Leah: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Regina: I’m a child of God, wife of Jack (a loving, hardworking husband), mother to four wonderful boys, mother-in-law to a kind brilliant woman, and grandma to two sweet little people who live way too far away in Edmonton, daughter to moms in the twilight of their lives and lots and lots of family.

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A Rocha’s work in Northern BC supports a community of environmental stewards who live in this beautiful area. Please consider getting involved with the creation care community in the Bulkley Valley.
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Having lived in the Bulkley Valley all my life, I have a deep appreciation for all of creation and try to find any opportunity to play outside. I enjoy landscape painting and love to take my paints along on camping, kayak and fishing trips or even on “take your mom to work days” with one of my boys, whether it’s on top of a mountain while he repairs communications equipment or water sampling at mine sites!

Leah: Tell us a bit about the Hatchery Pilot Project and your involvement.

Regina: The Hatchery Pilot Project for coho salmon was a dream of the former Department of Fisheries and Oceans Community Advisor and with its success many of the local people involved got excited about the Upper Bulkley River watershed along with it’s struggles and triumphs.

The Hatchery project was a wonderful learning experience for me, learning every day about the life of Coho salmon and how they fit in the environment locally.

Leah: What drew you to volunteer with A Rocha?

Regina: I wouldn’t say I was “drawn” to volunteer with A Rocha, it just happened to me! You see, I was interested in streamkeepers activities because of my love for water and fish. (I have a goldfish/ koi pond in our yard and get really excited when I see the chickadee family come to bathe in the waterfall, a frog sit on a lillypad or a dragonfly emerging from its cocoon.) So, in order for the Hatchery Project to happen, Cindy and I found a garden shed suitable for the project and hauled it to our back yard. Since the desired location was not going to be ready when the fish were ready to spawn (end September) the shed stayed in my back yard for the duration of the hatching cycle.

Once I’ve committed to something, I will do my best to see it though.

I plan to be involved in the construction of the new Hatchery building till completed and be part of the streamkeepers activities in the future, after all, playing outside is why I got involved in the first place!

Leah: What do you find life giving about your volunteer work with A Rocha?

Regina: My volunteer work, life giving? That’s an interesting question since I wouldn’t normally think about volunteering in those terms. When something needs to be done, I was raised to step up and do it. It is all I know, and it’s a good thing. I’ve always been involved in my kids’ schools at church. I’ve painted the walls for our church, new senior housing and the handicapped housing projects. When a job was not so fun at times, we (my sister-in-law and I) would look at each other and say, “We do it because we love the LORD.”

We all have different gifts, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to contribute some of mine in many different ways.

Leah: And A Rocha is very fortunate to have Regina in our ranks!

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Whether you’re eager to get your hands dirty at one of our environmental centres, help out at an administrative office, or offer your skills remotely in your area of expertise, we would love to hear from you!
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