James Boonstra (centre) plants a yellow cedar under the direction of Wayne Samland

James Boonstra (centre) plants a yellow cedar under the direction of Wayne Samland

ASET helps preserve the future

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Environmental Trust's Annual Green Fair helps students with their studies related to the environment

Amelia Galuska began her studies in natural resources science at Thompson Rivers University last fall, while Reka Vasarhelyi began studies in water technology and engineering technology at Okanagan College.

The 2012 Pleasant Valley secondary school graduates are just two of many students who have been given a helping hand from the Armstrong Spallumcheen Environmental Trust (ASET).

Every year since 2002, ASET has awarded one or two $1,000 bursaries to a PVSS grad for university studies in an environmentally related science. Students can prepare for careers in forest sustainability, development of non-polluting fuel sources, water protection, or wildlife biology, just to name a few eligible fields.

“And this year, there is a $1,000 award donated by Spall’s 100th anniversary committee,” said Marjorie Harris, public relations director for ASET.

But to continue to award the bursaries, the trust needs to raise money and that’s where the seventh annual ASET Green Fair trade show fundraiser comes in.

Taking place April 20, rain or shine, at Askew’s parking lot in Armstrong, the fair is supported by businesses demonstrating clean energy solutions and environmentally sensitive solutions.

“Don’t miss this wonderful unique-to-the-North-Okanagan opportunity for your cause,” said Harris. “Displays of your planet health cause, sales of your company wares and environmental related products are welcome.”

ASET was established in 2002 by Mildred Inglis, who passed away in February. From her obituary, “Mildred and her buddies saw the need to create Armstrong Spallumcheen Environmental Trust, now a registered society that she registered with forgotten and found retirement fund dollars from a past teaching job in Saskatchewan. This is an awareness group of caring citizens, who understand planet health is deteriorating at the hands of mankind, citizens who want to actually help make a difference to stand up for this one earth.”

Harris has been involved with ASET since the past year and a half, after attending a presentation where she learned about community resilience.

“It’s a green idea, about planting trees in the community but making sure they are food trees; in the event of a disaster, how resilient is your community? It’s the ability of the community to carry on relatively normally if we were cut off from outside resources because food, water, medical is all part of resilience. I ended up forming the resilience project for Armstrong; we started building food forests and regular evergreens.

“I think people are much more aware of the environment now. I think in the last 10 years, with the recycling program and clean energy alternatives, with organic foods and eating locally, people are much more aware and more and more people are seeking those solutions.”

The Green Fair takes place April 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature a barbecue hosted by the Boy Scouts, with hot dogs donated by Askew’s. Funds raised from the barbecue are split between the Scouts and ASET.

“We’ll have food, free plants, a movie tent, seed sellers, two organic associations have signed up, and every year we raffle a composter. We’re also hoping to have facepainting, so there is something for every age.

“We are looking for long-term corporate sponsors so we can continue building on our legacy fund for our bursaries.”

To sign up for the Green Fair,  e-mail info@asetbc.ca. Cost to participate is $40, plus $10 for a six or eight-foot table. Supplying your own table saves you $10. For non-profit societies, entry fee is $30.