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Sue Hemphill loves getting people of all ages outdoors exploring, enjoying and learning about nature.
Sue has served as the backbone of Scout Island Nature Centre (SINC) in Williams Lake for over 13 years.
The centre, established in 1978 by the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, encourages the bond between people and nature. Many children are now learning to love nature at the same centre their parents visited when they were young.
Sue’s impact on nature education in this resource-based community has been profound. She is constantly dreaming up new ways to engage people of all ages in the love of nature.
Since 2003, she and other SINC staff have dealt with nearly 48,000 student visits. These visits illustrate concepts like the web of life, ecological responsibility and predator-prey skills. They always involve hands-on, real-world activities relevant to the students’ current studies.
She brought NatureKids BC to SINC, giving families the opportunity to enjoy field trips, astronomy programs, and nature games together. Sue also delivers the Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Stream to Sea lessons and supports 14 classroom incubation projects where students raise salmon to release to local watersheds.
Public workshops, youth-at-risk groups, First Nations schools, Pregnancy Outreach, preschools, community events, and Elder College have all benefitted from Sue’s determination to keep environmental awareness on the agenda.
Sue was pivotal in encouraging and enabling the local School District to integrate nature studies and environmental awareness into mainstream and alternative curricula. As a result, many thousands of children have been introduced to the natural wonders of their immediate environment.
Her dedication extends to educating the educators; she has mentored many science teachers, helping them expand environmental experiences for their students.
However, Sue’s commitment to conservation isn’t limited to environmental education; her work spans many decades, issues and initiatives.
She was instrumental in founding the Quesnel River Watershed Alliance, Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, Williams Lake Environmental Society, and the Horsefly River Roundtable. Sue has also been a driving force behind the Horsefly River Salmon Festival.
She continues as a tireless advocate for conservation, participating in and often leading community discussions on proposed resource developments, air quality issues, city planning for sustainability, and development of the Williams Lake River Valley as an outdoor classroom.
One of the easiest ways to leave a legacy is through your will. Take our short Will Quiz as a first step.
Stewardship is about taking responsibility to promote, monitor, conserve and restore ecosystems for current and future generations of all species.
There are three types of environmental stewards:
1. Doers help out by taking action on the ground.
2. Donors help by donating money, land or other resources.
3. Practitioners work to steer agencies, scientists, stakeholder groups or other groups toward a stewardship outcome.