The Lake Country Environmental Society is dissolving, but its legacy continues.
In an Oct. 23 memorandum of understanding, the Lake Country Environmental Society agreed to transfer its remaining cash on hand to the District of Lake Country to be held in trust and used for environmental projects that protect, remediate or enhance the local environment within Lake Country.
“The primary concern is to protect and enhance the environment,” states the agreement.
Additionally, the district agreed to explore the possibility of enhancing the legacy fund to include donations from the general public, estates, or other potential donors to help augment the program and keep it sustainable. Income tax receipts are available from the district in such situations.
When the Lake Country Environmental Society was formed in 1989 its focus was predominantly recycling. With active community members like Jane Pekrul leading the initiative and many other volunteers assisting, the society was a driving force in recycling efforts and helped to facilitate the regional program for automated garbage, recyclable and yard waste collection.
Founding society member Ed Cully wrote a regular Enviro File column in The Calendar for a number of years; and the society has been actively involved with local schools in establishing environmental clubs and projects like tree planting, clean-up days and storm drain marking. Other efforts include:
• Acting as a conduit for the Royal Bank Blue Water Grant which resulted in collaborating with Okanagan Basin Water Board on developing a Watershed Report Card Template
• Assisting Oceola Fish & Game Club in frequent clean-ups of Middle Vernon Creek
• Helping with dissemination of messaging for Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program
• Providing advice on environmental issues related to development proposals
• Sitting on Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Committee on Solid Waste Site Planning
• Addressing a wide range of ecological and environmental concerns through local print media.
“The Society has been a positive force in the community for over 20 years,” said Stan Brynjolfson, Lake Country Environmental Society president. “But sadly, our membership has declined in numbers and advanced in years to the point where it is no longer possible to continue. We hope that with the creation of the Legacy Fund we can continue to positively affect the local environment.”
“We have appreciated the efforts of the society in working with the district on the development of a sensitive ecosystem inventory, mapping of environmentally-sensitive areas, and consulting on the Official Community Plan, to name just a few things they’ve been involved with,” said Steve Schaffrick, director of community & customer services for the District of Lake Country. “The recent installation of an osprey nest platform at the northeast corner of Wood Lake was another project funded by the Lake Country Environmental Society.
The Legacy Fund, with the $4,259 transfer from the society, will provide the seed money for future habitat and riparian restoration projects yet to be identified.”