The Youth and Ecological Restoration Program (YER) is going through changes this fall. After sixteen years of YER being operated by one person, it is time to introduce someone else into the program leadership. This transitioning to new blood has been ongoing for a couple of years with the main goal of ensuring YER continue with its integrity intact.
I met Graham Hilliar twenty-five years ago at Carnation Creek Experimental Watershed Project on the west coast with his father and uncle. For five years, he has been volunteering with YER to monitor outmigration of juvenile salmon for Tsolum River Restoration Society. Since 2008, Graham has done community support work for individuals with diverse abilities, assisting them with their daily activities and finding meaningful employment. He has been on the board of Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society for three years and volunteered with Care-A-Van for two years.
Graham has a knowledge depth of Comox Valley ecosystems and demonstrates compassion for YER youth. He is a keen apprentice and respectful in learning the lessons the past sixteen years have provided. Fresh ideas and initiatives will come with introducing somebody new and there will be space for program expansion.
This time of allowing changes is mixed with a discomfort of letting go. It is a cycle akin to the autumn changes of salmon returning and leaves falling.
I can’t think of anyone better to “pass the baton” to. Graham is a creative and compassionate person with a love of the natural environment and a gift for working with all types of people. Good catch Wendy!
Thanks Janet! Graham and I have been slowly working towards this for five years now. I am very confident in this choice.
I agree with Janet.
Of course you do, Chris! That comes with being his Dad, A lifetime commitment to your wonderful son!
Welcome Graham and thank you both for the work that you do. Even as you step away from the work you will always be “Watershed Wendy”
Thanks Kathy! I always appreciate your support and love being called “Watershed Wendy”. Well, that makes me one of the “Watershed Wendy’s”, Mrs. Prothero being the other one.
What a fab photo Wendy !
You and Graham make a fine team – he has a lot to offer
and it’s super that he has been contributing for the past five years.
Your commitment to the program has ensured its success
and Graham’s involvement will enhance its survival.
Good on ya !
Thanks Jane! This transition is working out even better than I thought it would. graham and I have a lot of respect for each other and a very good working relationship.