Stewardship Pemberton Society (SPS) was formed in 2006. Our mandate is to connect community to nature. Our mission is to encourage the protection, restoration, and long-term sustainability of the natural environment through education, cooperation, and community involvement.
An early goal of SPS was to build a local nature centre. Prior to 2003, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) operated a local hatchery for 30 years which served as an educational hub for children while raising salmon in their classroom. In 2003, a flood decimated the building and it was deemed unsafe and inoperable. With the inception of SPS, we continued to work with the DFO salmonids in the classroom program but began developing our own unique educational tools to complement the program, highlighting cool things about our local ecosystem.
We continued to fundraise and create partnerships which allowed us to ultimately build the One Mile Lake Nature Centre which became operable in 2011. The building is completely off-grid with solar power, composting toilets and rainwater collection. The building is equipped with a small salmon hatchery for educational purposes. The building was only possible thanks to the generous donations, grants and hundreds of volunteer hours. Some of our key supporters are local and federal government agencies, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Community Foundation of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, the Village of Pemberton, the Squamish Lilooet Regional District and many local contributors. We offer programming for all of the communities in our surrounding area indulging Pemberton, Squamish Lillooet Regional District Area C, Lil’wat First Nation, N’Quatqua First Nation and Whistler. We also see walk-through tourist traffic throughout the summer.
With our One Mile Lake Nature Centre in operation, we began developing our interest-led nature-based education programs, simply called Nature Camp. Our programs are focused on science-based participatory learning, engaging kids directly with what they are learning through hands on experiences. Nestled next to a wetland, creek, lake and upland forest but very near the centre of Pemberton, the Nature Centre has become a community hub for outdoor learning. We offer programming for 3-5 year olds in our Little Saplings pre-school programs and after school and spring/summer camps for 5-12 year olds. The Nature Centre provides much needed childcare in the region. At the height of summer we employ nine qualified educators that we provide training and support to further the environmental teaching capacity. We have two teen mentors that work full-time over the summer with our educators. We have over 100 families annually participating in our programs, and our camps always are at capacity, often with a waitlist. Our ultimate goal with this programming is to provide engaging environmental education for our youth to instil a sense of place and value that will endure a lifetime.
We welcome indigenous teachings and input from our local First Nations. In 2014 we worked with Lil’wat Nation through the Lil’wat Language and Cultural Heritage Authority to create signs for our native plant garden highlighting traditional uses. Our local First Nations leaders and community members are welcomed to all of our community outreach offerings, and often provide blessing ceremonies for special events.
We could not have achieved any of these successes without the ongoing support and encouragement from our community.
Providing unique, engaging & interactive educational opportunities for all ages.
We are deeply committed to protecting, conserving and restoring the diversity and quality of our local environment.
Providing education and resources to inform, inspire and develop community knowledge and passion for our natural environment.
Promoting awareness and skill development for the ongoing conservation, protection and restoration of our local surroundings.
View our 2016-2019 Strategic Plan here... (thank you to Enterprising Non Profits for your funding!).
Watch MLA Jordan Sturdy speaking about us at the House of Commons below: