Kitty Liu on our Salmon Festival success

Kitty Liu, Director, Garden City Conservation Society, Richmond, B.C.Garden City Conservation Society director Kitty Liu (shown at right) has shared this open letter of gratefulness for the success of our 2015 Canada Day booth at the Steveston Salmon Festival in Richmond, B.C. Kitty was the team leader for the event.

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Happy Canada Day, everyone! That’s what we had, a happy Canada Day, at the Steveston Salmon Festival on Wednesday, July 1. It was a fun day to enjoy being fellow Canadians.

It was so great to see so many of you people from Richmond and all over when you came by to visit us at the Garden City Conservation Society (GCCS) booth at the Salmon Festival. What a perfect opportunity it was to see new faces and grow in awareness of the cause we care about—the conservation of our natural legacies.

We also got to mingle and build stronger networks with others who had community booths in the same area at Steveston Park. At setup time, the groups worked together to spread things out so there was room for all the tents. Then, on a day of strong winds catching the tents like sails, we and our neighbours worked together to get the tents raised and stable. Nature’s challenge for us became an occasion for harmony in the spirit of Canada Day.

For the Garden City Conservation Society, the event was an occasion to celebrate what the Friends of Garden City have accomplished together. Beginning with that setup experience, our booth embodied a generous spirit in doing whatever is needed to reach shared goals. It all went so well because of the GCCS directors and volunteers and visitors who joined in.

From beginning to end, I as the team leader had so many reasons to give thanks. Here are some examples, with a focus on people:

Volunteer Lynda ter Borg – our amazing hero – began working hard on the pre-event evening, picking up the tent, signs, tables and chairs, etc., from several places and bringing them to the Salmon Festival site. Early on Canada Day, she was back, bringing additional items and helping set up the tent. Lynda stayed all day, taking part, giving me confidence, and helping dismantle our booth before returning everything we had borrowed.

Jim Wright, our president, developed our event materials and organized them in a big box as a kit that was customized for the event, and he was always ready to explain anything I needed to know.

Daniel Leung, a founding GCCS director and still a Friend of Garden City, was our neighbour with a booth about prostate cancer awareness. When we had no pegs for our tent, he decided to use one peg per corner leg, instead of two, on his group’s tent. He then lent the pegs he’d removed to us for the day. Thanks to Daniel, our tent didn’t fly away, and we’re very glad that his tent survived too.

Some other neighbours who helped us tie things down were Check Your Head (a youth justice group) and the Liberal Party of Canada. For our part, we acted in the same spirit for other groups.

Sharon MacGougan, our vice president, patiently helped the volunteers and welcomed new Friends of Garden City.

Volunteer Eldon Lin, who is an SFU engineering student, was our superstar, energetically interacting with the public and transferring his outgoing enthusiasm to them as well.

Krishna Sharma, a GCCS director and agricultural scientist, brought his grandchildren Krishangi, 12, and Aishani, 8, to take part at the booth with him in the afternoon.

 Krishna said they have been helping him at the Sharing Farm with seed saving and climate adaptation study, so they have hands-on knowledge about conservation and food security.

Krishangi Dandapure at left

At the Salmon Festival, they set a very nice example. That’s Krishangi trying the approach of holding up a big Save Garden City logo (at left in the above photo).

Michael Wolfe, another GCCS director, had spent the morning with the Green Party’s float in the Salmon Festival parade, and he came by as soon as he finished that to help staff the booth.
Michael, who is a conservation biology teacher, leads our eco-tours, and he let people know about the upcoming tour of July 7.

Councillor Carol Day, who is a former GCCS director, had created our various pieces of signage years ago, and she provided it from where she stores it, along with her tent/canopy and other equipment, all useful.

Director John ter Borg, our treasurer, had arranged our event registration and insurance and managed to help even though he needed to be in northern British Columbia.

People like you. The event happened so smoothly and well because people like these were so unselfish and joyful about doing their part. I know there are lots of others who quietly did things to help, because everyone was trying to help us do well, not to get credit for themselves. Congratulations to all of you, because the success was your success.

Thank you all for showing support in what we do. Hope to see you all again at the East Entrance of the Garden City Lands at the July 7 tour on Tuesday.

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