By James Rose

Special to the Pioneer

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors are pleased to welcome Thea Rodgers as the new program coordinator. The role, previously held by Megan Peloso, involves coordinating the organizations many different programs, activities, and community outreach.

Ms. Rodgers spent the last three years working as a research assistant at the University of British Columbia on projects pertaining to soil science, agriculture, and physical limnology. These positions developed my skills and understanding of research methods in the fields of land use and hydrology, she said.

And she grew up not far from the Invermere area. I grew up rurally near Fort Steele and attended public school in Cranbrook. In 2012, she enrolled at UBC, where she recently obtained her Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology. Hobbies include camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and paddling of many different forms.

Her previous work experience working for the City of Cranbrook will dovetail well for her new role here in the Columbia Valley. Last summer, I delivered water conservation education and programming as the Water Smart Ambassador for the City of Cranbrook. I really enjoyed the challenge of managing several different aspects of the program, engaging with children and youth, and meeting new people, commented Ms. Rodgers.

But in looking to join the Lake Windermere Ambassadors, the position appealed to Ms. Rodgers because of her personal interests in water resource management and community engagement. I was drawn to working for the Ambassadors because of the opportunity it presented to be part of a diverse organization, with a mandate for a healthy lake that I think everyone who uses or depends on the lake can stand behind, she said.

And while Ms. Rodgers is excited to be transitioning into her new working environment, she is aware of some of the challenges she faces. So far, the biggest challenge will be learning as much about the program as possible and integrating into the job in just a short amount of time. I would like this summer season of monitoring and public outreach to hit the ground running, so I am working hard to get everything in place during my first weeks in the office, she said, adding Our last coordinator, Megan Peloso, did an amazing job. She left behind quite the legacy in the community, so I’ve got some big shoes to fill.

Ms. Rodgers is looking forward to getting underway with the organizations water quality monitoring program, and to begin planning some of this year’s events. I would like to see the Ambassadors continue to have a positive presence within the community, and to continue to act as a resource of information for the public about the status of lake health and local water governance, she commented.

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors have been designated the Lake Windermere Management Committee by the local government. We are the only nongovernment entity that provides recommendations to the RDEK for water based referral processes, said Ms. Rodgers. This is a significant achievement in terms of bringing local water governance down to the community level. We are also a provider of public outreach, education, and scientific information about freshwater stewardship.

For those looking to get involved, the Ambassadors will be conducting a shoreline cleanup at several public beaches around Lake Windermere on Sunday, July 2nd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering in a team to help keep our shorelines clean, please email [email protected] or call 250-341-6898.