Editor’s note: If you haven’t met “Flo” yet, this superhero is visiting Cowichan communities this summer, helping us face down a severe drought and water restrictions. Cowichan Watershed Board summer student Lauren Frost reports in weekly as Flo visits local watershed heroes to learn more about their work (and snap a selfie)!
Name: Jared Bates
Occupation: Camp Counsellor, Cowichan Land Trust
Why Flo Likes Him: Watershed IQ Hero
Flo: Hi Jared. Let’s begin with your life here in the Cowichan Region. How long have you lived here?
Jared: I’ve lived here for just about two years. I moved from Prince George, which is quite different from down here. What really drew me to the Cowichan Valley was the environmental consciousness and activism, a lot more opportunities in the field of biology, and just the beauty of the place. And the ocean!
Flo: I have seen you hard at work (and play) many times this summer, helping kids learn about our magnificent Cowichan Estuary in a fun way. Thank you for that! What do you like best about your job?
Jared: One of the things I like best is to be able to make a connection between kids and nature. Helping them to understand the environment around them — their backyard — and making a connection that they can build respect upon in their later years.
Flo: I understand that the Cowichan Land Trust does programs all year round to improve “watershed IQ”, with a goal of giving all Grade 4 and 5 students a watershed experience. Terrific! Why is this age group particularly important to educate about our watershed?
Jared: This age group is particularly important because they’re at an age where they are beginning to be able to understand a lot of the more complicated functions of the watershed and have a greater appreciation for it.
Also, they’re at an age where they can, with a greater understanding, begin to make a larger impact in the way that they’re going to live their lives, with an appreciation and understanding of how the watershed around them functions. They can also share this new knowledge with their parents, who may also recognize the benefits and transfer it into their own daily lives.
Flo: If you could ask every Cowichan region resident to do one thing for our watershed, what would it be?
Jared: I guess what I would ask would be for people to get out and experience our watershed. Find those special little places and those special things within our unique environment that you can really make a connection with. When you do, you’ll be able to make choices which impact our watershed with that special place in mind.