On the evening of December 11th the Mossom Creek Hatchery was destroyed by fire. The hatchery was located in the forest in my neighbourhood for nearly 40 years. I first volunteered there when I was only nine years old. The experiences I enjoyed shaped my attitudes and my actions where the environment is concerned and put me on a path to the person I am today. My very first film was about one of the co-founders of the hatchery, Ruth Foster. She and the hatchery have had a huge influence on my life and I will treasure the memories of my time there caring for thousands of salmon and releasing them into Mossom Creek, not to mention the education I received from Ruth and others on everything from native plants to almost invisible insects that fascinated my brother and I on so many Sunday mornings. And speaking of my brother, I’ve asked him to add his own perspective to this in the form of a guest blog.
Hi. I first started visiting the hatchery five years ago. I didn’t even realize that for years I had driven past it with my family without even knowing that it was there. It didn’t take long before it became one of my favourite places to visit. It was the kind of place where you could visit with friends, eat some homemade bread and get a hands-on education about stuff that I didn’t even know existed in my own backyard. It felt really good to help. I never minded the work we did while we were there because I knew I was doing it for the salmon and the creatures that live there. Ruth and Rod always made volunteers feel like we were the most important people on earth and they always made time to visit and share stories with each and every person who visited.
I have visited the hatchery twice since the fire and it was just as sad to see it the second time as it was the first. But I’m starting to realize that it was more than a building and that we haven’t lost the people that were part of it or the reason for it being there. And that reason will always be there. So that’s why everyone needs to help to make rebuilding it possible and to replace all the things that made it a hatchery. In the coming days you can visit the hatchery website and donate to the rebuilding so that more kids like me can have the kind of experiences I had at Mossom Creek.
Please visit the hatchery website at mossomcreek.org to find out how you can help.