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Letters to the Editor for the week of October 31st

Show council you care about climate change We have all seen we are at a unique point in the calls for climate action from all around the world—especially coming from those who have the most to lose.
Photo by Alyysa Noel

Show council you care about climate change

We have all seen we are at a unique point in the calls for climate action from all around the world—especially coming from those who have the most to lose. Here in Whistler an estimated 600 people took to the streets for the #ClimateStrike—the largest march our community has ever seen.

So what next....?

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Whistlerites have an opportunity to find out what is happening in our own community at an update on the Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP), which will be presented to council.

We (the community) only get to see these updates on local climate actions a few times a year, so when that opportunity comes around, it is important to be there. Regardless of people's thoughts on the turf field or employee housing, both are clear examples of what can happen when the room is full of supporters.

As we all seek to integrate climate solutions into our businesses, homes and daily lives we also need to show support for and keep pressure on council and the Resort Municipality of Whistler to provide stronger leadership on carbon emission reductions and implement more policies to mitigate the risks of climate change.

That means we have to keep showing up!

AWARE is encouraging anyone with an interest in the future of Whistler to attend the Nov. 5 council meeting to hear the CECAP update.

We know council meetings can be dull! But if you care, you should be there!

(Council agenda and meeting packages are released on the Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting on the website. Timing of the CECAP report depends on where it falls on the agenda.)

Let's show we care—together—again!

Claire Ruddy, Executive Director, Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE)


Concerns over development

I am writing regarding the application by Empire Club Development Corp. to develop 22 units of market housing and 15 units of employee housing on 5298 Alta Lake Rd.

The development looks far too dense and lacking in slope sensitivity (à la Rainbow Estates). I worry it will leave the slope looking scarred and ugly with little room for trees to hide it. 

This doesn't seem like a deal to me. It seems like a way for Empire Club to build their empires at the expense of Whistler's natural beauty. 

I will take a pass and so should council. Whistler can do better.

Jenn Smithers // Whistler, B.C.


Fungus Among Us marks strong year

The Whistler Naturalists would like to thank everyone who participated in our 17th annual Fungus Among Us Mushroom Festival.

We started off the festival by visiting 23 classes at the local schools on Thursday and Friday and taking most on field trips in the woods. The students all seemed to enjoy hunting for mushrooms just as much as Easter eggs! 

Some were searching for the smallest mushrooms; some were seeking out mushrooms that would be suitable for making spore prints and some were just seeing what was out there! Thanks to very special guests Kevin Trim, Ben Hircock, Andy MacKinnon, Paul Kroeger, Bryce Kendrick, Erin Feldman, Ruth Joy, Cody Labossiere and Shayn McAskin.

We couldn't run the festival without our fabulous mushroom gurus who gave talks, led walks, and labelled and presided over the mushroom display. Special thanks to the Friday night presenters: Veronica Woodruff (Edible mushrooms!); Adolf and Oluna Ceska (Fungi inventory of Observatory Hill—1,420 species and counting!); Andy MacKinnon (Why care about fungi? Part 1); and Thom O'Dell (Why care about fungi? Part 2). Also, thanks to the audience for bringing in diverse fungi for the BYOM (bring your own mushroom) competition.

The Saturday morning forays brought back a huge diversity of mushrooms for the afternoon display tables. At least 200 species were found (some still to be ID'd), of which at least 21 are new to our list. This year's results bring the total number of mushrooms now documented by the Whistler Biodiversity Project to more than 900!

Our popular gourmet wild mushroom tasting wouldn't have been possible without the great expertise and wonderful creativity of Chef Bruce Worden, Nesters Market and Milestones.

Thanks also to the amazing group of volunteers who made it happen and all the folks that came out to share their enthusiasm and wonder for all things fungal.

Finally, the Whistler Naturalists would also like to thank our key sponsors: The Community Foundation of Whistler, AWARE and RMOW. Thanks also to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Whistler Library, Ecologyst, Toad Hall Studios, Avalanche Pizza and the Whistler Biodiversity Project.

See you next year, as always, the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Kristina Swerhun, Bob Brett // On behalf of the Whistler Naturalists


Thanks for successful scouting season

Whistler 1st Beaver Scout Group would like to thank Creekside Market for their generous donation for our parent meet and greet this last Sunday. We are overwhelmed by the support you have given us and words cannot thank you enough. Our kids and their families had an incredible time and we have you to thank for that. Thank you for enabling us to create lasting memories for these families.

A huge shout out also goes to the volunteers that have been working toward the successful start of our Scouting season this year. It is this support that makes it possible to provide programs such as this to the kids of our community. We are continuing to work to expand the group to include Cub Scouts in March and Scouts in September.

If you are interested in being involved as a leader or committee member please reach out to us.

Ainslie Conway // Whistler B.C.