Greenways Land Trust’s new office manager Lydia Stratemann

The grass is greener for Greenways Land Trust

Greenways Land Trust is moving to greener pastures.

The Campbell River environmental organization is moving into its new digs and that has new Office Manager Lydia Stratemann smiling.

“Our previous location was a little cramped,” she said. “But the new office has lots of room, making it much better and we even have a meeting area.”

That meeting area would seem vital, considering the many projects and organizations with which Greenways is involved – like Baikie Island and the Estuary, school programs, the Adopt-A-Trail program in the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands, the Haig-Brown Kingfisher Creek Society, Streamkeepers, the Strathcona Food Security Hub and the Laughing Willow Community Garden to name a few.

The new office location is in downtown Campbell River at the very north end of Fir Street at the bottom of Dogwood hill. The office entrance is just off 12th Avenue.

Stratemann moved from Germany to Canada at the end of 2015. Last October she started working with Greenways. Her transition to West Coast/Campbell River life was eased by her husband (who’s from Bella Coola), his family and new friends. Those new friends also include the family of Mark Wunsch, president of the Discovery Passage SeaLife Society (DPSS), who she found out has twice lived in the exact same streets in the same town in Germany prior to their move to Canada.

“That was a funny coincidence and the Wunsches really helped a lot,” she said.

Stratemann has also been volunteering on the marketing committee of the Aquarium and Explorer Lab since May last year. This was her first step and outreach into the community and she noticed Greenways activities.

She said she was amazed at the energy and leadership of the organization.

“It’s just amazing, what these people do,” she said. “They are so involved, and care so much about what they do, it’s a little humbling to be a part of it all. And Cynthia (Greenways’ Executive Director, Cynthia Bendickson) is so positive, knowledgable and brings so much to the causes.”

With a background in journalism and marketing, Stratemann is ready to reach out to the community and bring the Greenways message forward.

And she realizes she has big shoes to fill. Those shoes belonged to Erin Nowak, who worked with the charity for nine years.

“That’s a lot of history and a lot of knowledge and a lot of catching up for me to do,” she said. “But I have great support and that will help a lot.”

Greenways mission is to “restore, sustain and protect natural areas and critical habitats, particularly ecological and recreational greenways, for the benefit of our community.”

That, said Stratemann, is quite the incentive.

“I didn’t quite know what to think of Campbell River at first, but the nature speaks for itself,” she said. “It’s so beautiful and to think I can be a part of doing something that is beneficial to it and will make it better, is inspiring.”

Her favourite Campbell River trail? The Canyon View.

Her favourite place to be? Rebecca Spit.

And her last words in the interview? “Greenways` members are so important,” she said. “It’s only $20 a year, $50 for three years and there’s family memberships. That is a way in which everyone who loves our local greenways as much as we do, can help add energy to a really great cause.”

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