We are a small group of volunteers who comprise the Board of Directors of the Slocan Lake Green Burial Society (SLGBS.) We are the mother organization of the Slocan Lake Green Burial Ground.

The initial group, formed in 2019, combined a variety of skills and experience, including the practice of medicine, media and community organizing savvy, and some familiarity with local government and environmental health issues. Fortunately we had the unflagging support of a person who prefers to remain unnamed, who was conversant with legal issues.

None of us knew much about cemeteries. Essentially, we recognized a need, particularly given the culture of the West Kootenays, and we set out to address it. Over time, we learned what we needed to know about cemetery design, community consultation, fundraising, conservation covenants, government regulations about interment, and so much more. Something we never realized was how many meetings, often weekly, we would have to attend, and how many hoops we would have to jump through to make our dream a reality. But we kept hanging in there and lo and behold, we did it!

The Board of Directors had five initial members: Kay Costley-White, a medical doctor, who offered up the land we had at first hoped to use for this project; Gitta Ridder, active in collective organizations and eclectically skilled at figuring things out; Randy Cofer, who describes himself as a “detail man,” and who is invaluable when it comes to work on the ground; Moe Lyons, a community organizer and freelance journalist; and Birgit Schinke, whose dedication to creating the initial framework was nothing short of remarkable. Birgit eventually resigned due to personal reasons.

Two new directors joined the Board at our first AGM. Alan Chubak is easily the most convivial member of the group, invaluable in engaging the public, and Paul Craig has a background working with the Nelson EcoCentre and actually agreed to be the Treasurer. They have faced a challenging few months learning the rules and procedures set out in the documents governing what we do, and helping to develop them as we go along.

The group has become something like an extended family, complete with quirks and occasional moments of wondering what on earth we are doing here. Nonetheless everyone continues to be committed to providing this special form of after-death care to members of the Slocan Lake community and its environs, and their families. New dedicated people are more than welcome to come forward at the next AGM to join in and continue to do this fascinating work.