Thetis Island’s Katia Bannister is always willing to answer the call of the wild for our environment. (Photo submitted)

Thetis Island’s Katia Bannister is always willing to answer the call of the wild for our environment. (Photo submitted)

Thetis Island youth devoted to important environmental causes

Cleaning up sensitive ecosystems brings issues to the forefront

High school student Katia Bannister of Thetis Island and her friends recently spent a rainy Sunday doing their part for the environment.

Bannister, 17, who attends Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan, noted in a Facebook post she considered herself lucky enough to help make a difference by participating in a restoration event at Bing’s Creek organized by the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society on #cowichanmakeadifferenceday.

What Bannister and her friends uncovered was a lot of garbage, some left behind by walkers, hikers and bikers and other items that originated from people partying in the forest who didn’t bother cleaning up after themselves. A lot of what they encountered, however, was the deteriorating remains of living spaces that had since been abandoned.

“There are homeless people living in our conservation areas,” noted Bannister. “And it’s not good. Not for the health of the ecosystem, and not for the health of our most vulnerable. It is true that some homeless people choose not to, or are not in a place where they can live in shelters or seek help, but it is also true that there are homeless people in our communities who do not have other options, or access to the resources they need.

“Everything is connected. Homelessness, the job and affordability crises, conservation and climate change – they are all connected, and they are all community issues that require community action. The most vulnerable people in our communities need the support of those of us with the most security – that’s really what community is about: thinking and acting with the collective in mind. Knowing that we can make a difference, and doing it because we care, and because the health of our communities is reflected in ourselves.”

Mom Kelly Bannister was obviously proud of her daughter and her friends for spending their day that way.

“When I sometimes read comments online written by adults criticizing the efforts of our local youth, calling them lazy or addicted to technology or uninformed or idealistic, I just want to ask them: ‘How did you spend your Sunday?’” she confided.

This is not a one-time Sunday volunteer effort, either, she added, “but a tide change of ongoing collective contributions spearheaded by concerned and generous youth who are not afraid of long treks, muddy feet or tough topics when they believe in what they are working towards: a more cared-for earth for all of us.”

Meanwhile, Katia Bannister has been enlisted as the second speaker for the Women Who Inspire Online Conference, a fundraiser for the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, on Sunday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

She will be speaking about ‘Intergenerational collaboration: Bridging the generation gap to create meaningful action and social change.’

Bannister, 17, is a co-leader of the Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians crew, a group of youth who strive to create meaningful change involving social and environmental issues.

She has a passion for restoration and conservation work, poetry, blogging and is currently learning to speak the Hul’qumi’num language. Bannister plans to pursue a career in ethnoecology.

EnvironmentStudents

 

Some of the debris found by Katia Bannister and the others at Bings Creek. (Photo submitted)

Some of the debris found by Katia Bannister and the others at Bings Creek. (Photo submitted)

Thetis Island’s Katia Bannister is the second Speaker for the Women Who Inspire online conference on Sunday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Photo submitted)

Thetis Island’s Katia Bannister is the second Speaker for the Women Who Inspire online conference on Sunday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Flag exhibit is now set up in the Chemainus Valley Museum. (Photo by Val Galvin)
Fibre artists put their unique twists on climate change exhibit

Red Flag warning label affixed to collection now on display at the Chemainus Valley Museum

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Many questions emerge from opioid dealer’s sentence

Leniency hard to fathom, especially after judge’s harsh words

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read