Rosslander canoes the Fraser...the WHOLE Fraser, natch

By Contributor
October 2nd, 2012

Rossland’s Wannes Luppens recently completed a 25 day, 1400km journey down the Fraser River, from its headwaters near Mt. Robson to its mouth in Vancouver. Travelling by voyageur canoe and raft, he was one of seven participants on the Sustainable Living Leadership Program, organized annually by the Rivershed Society of BC.

Evenings were spent camping under the stars along the banks of the river, while days were spent learning about stewardship and designing sustainability projects to implement in home communities.

“We were outdoors the entire time and the weather turned out to be fantastic” says Luppens.  “I got to see and learn about a big part of BC that I had never had a chance to experience before.  Seeing everything from the river’s perspective was very interesting.  Finding out about the Fraser’s history and its impact on the development of the West was fascinating”.

The idea behind the annual trip came from Fin Donnelly, who twice swam the entire length of the river to raise awareness for its health.  Fin has co-facilitated almost all of the trips since 2002, and was also on this year’s trip.  “The two facilitators, Fin and Doug, were awesome.  Very knowledgeable and inspiring.  They’ve accomplished a lot over the years.  And they practice what they preach.”

“I love the whole idea that one guy’s ambition to swim a river has ultimately evolved into an entire network of people and organizations right across BC that have a shared passion.  And it’s literally the river that connects everyone.  Sustainable living is the common vision.”

Luppens was the only participant that wasn’t from the Fraser Basin.  “It was neat to experience a different river and a different basin.  Compared to the Columbia, it’s a wild river.  The river really is beautiful.  Definitely a trip of a lifetime!”

Luppens would like to encourage anyone that is up for a challenge and an adventure and has an interest in sustainability to apply for next year’s trip.  Details can be found at www.rivershed.com

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