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Volunteers contribute time, expertise, and heart to North Cowichan
April 25, 2022
(North Cowichan, BC) – Each and every day in North Cowichan is enriched through the contributions of volunteers. And for the municipality, volunteers help support and deliver important roles and processes.
National Volunteer Week (April 24 to 30) is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of the hundreds of volunteers that have a direct impact through citizen involvement.
“Volunteers are the heart of North Cowichan, and we are a much better place with their time and dedication,” said Mayor Al Siebring. “I regularly come across the incredible work of volunteers in our community, from civic committee members, to people simply helping others in their neighbourhood, or those donating their time and expertise.”
In North Cowichan, civic bodies such as the Environmental Advisory Committee, the Forest Advisory Committee, the Board of Variance, and project-specific groups such as the OCP Advisory Group, OCP Community Ambassador Team, and the Municipal Forest Reserve Review Engagement Working Group spend countless hours around meeting tables (and virtual meeting screens) reviewing policies and plans, and contributing their knowledge.
North Cowichan’s 104 paid on-call firefighters are often colloquially referred to as volunteers. Their roles as a fire fighter is not their “day job” so when a call comes in, they have to clock out, before clocking in to their turnout gear and attending a fire, motor vehicle accident, hazardous spill, or natural disaster. Many of North Cowichan’s fire fighters have been doing this for dozens of years, and with hundreds of hours of training under their belts.
Our parks, trails, boulevards, and gardens also benefit from the hard work of community volunteers. The Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society manages the hiking, running, and biking trails found throughout North Cowichan’s Municipal Forest Reserve. Members can be found on Mount Tzouhalem, Maple Mountain, Mount Prevost, and Mount Richards on any given day building and maintaining the 88-kolimetre network of world-class trails, leading group rides, and hosting races and events.
Communities in Bloom volunteers really “dig” keeping Chemainus looking beautiful. The society plans, plants, and maintains the stunning flower beds and planters throughout the town, and provide a colourful backdrop for tourist photos.
National Volunteer Week is recognized annually across Canada. This year’s theme is Empathy in Action and encourages volunteering as a profoundly human connection that is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities.
Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan