For anyone who feels like they are a lonely champion for Creation care, there is hope.

Cindy Verbeek longed to have “Creation care” take root in a small community halfway up the province of BC. She has been with A Rocha since 1996, is a biologist, Christian and even part of the founding A Rocha Canada board.

For years, she worked to mobilize her church and community. She built community gardens, led clean-up days, started the local farmer’s market and other stewardship work in Houston BC. It was an uphill climb until she met ZoAnn Morton of the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation during a streamkeepers training and then became part of the Salmonid Enhancement Program with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a Stream to Sea technician.

Cindy began to see how “Salmon” was the common language of the North and was encouraged to join the effort of protecting and restoring salmon first hand. The first step was to pilot a salmon hatchery demonstration and education project.

And it worked!

They mobilized the local credit union, lumber mill and many other community partners. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans even agreed to pay for the electricity and help catch the spawning fish. The end result is a self-contained hatchery for raising 10,000 coho salmon every year. It now welcomes over 500 kids to learn by carefully touching and seeing the wonder of God’s creation. 

Five years later, Cindy has a clear sense of purpose and direction. Community support abounds. There is talk about building a Nature Centre alongside the Hatchery that would help to raise up the next generation of “salmon-keepers”. It would also be a community hub and educational tourist stop along highway 16.

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Three ways you can support local conservation stewardship and education:

  1. Adding new coho and chinook salmon to the watershed by sponsoring 1 or 50 salmon for $2/each per month.
  2. Teaching one child through hands-on encounters with Salmon at the Hatchery ($35/month)
  3. Praying for people to support stewardship education. Plans are in place for a Nature Centre ($300,000 plus annual operations).
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