Every fourth Sunday in September, millions of people in over 100 countries celebrate World Rivers Day. Together, we care about the health of watersheds and appreciate our place in them. We visit in community with the places where we gather. We make new connections and celebrate the gifts of local rivers and streams. We also encourage and support one another to be good stewards in the actions we take every day.
You’re invited to join in the fun! Drop by Bright Angel Park on September 25 any time between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Everyone is welcome. The Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo’ (Koksilah River) flows through Bright Angel Park and joins the Quw’utsun Sta’lo’ (Cowichan River) at the estuary, where freshwater meets saltwater at the ocean. Enjoy the whole day at the park or stop by all five Quw’utsun Sta’lo’ Skweyul event sites in the Cowichan and Koksilah watersheds.
The Quw’utsun’ Cultural Connections Society, Indigenous Elders, Xwulqw’selu Connections, Cowichan Green Community, and Farmland Advantage are all hosting activities at Bright Angel Park. Here’s what you may experience with us:
- Visit with Quw’utsun Elders as they weave with cedar, lead us on a medicine walk, and introduce us to the Xpey (cedar) that were planted this spring
- Make a cedar dreamcatcher
- Play with pumps in our hands-on display and see how pumping groundwater can affect rivers
- Chat with streamflow monitoring volunteers about the joys and value of contributing to citizen-engaged science
- Sign up to monitor streamflow in the Xwulqw’selu watershed next summer
- Share your story: What’s your relationship with the Xwulqw’selu Sta’lo’?
- Guess which streams dried out this summer and when
- Make cordage from invasive yellow flag iris gathered from Somenos Marsh
- Contribute to a collaborative community weaving project
- Learn about riparian restoration work on farms in the Koksilah watershed
- Examine water samples and rock substrates collected from local streams. Learn how conductivity offers clues about where water is flowing from and discover why that matters.
There are plenty of other ways to celebrate Rivers Day in your own way. Take a walk using all of your senses, splash in the river, enjoy a picnic, or raise a toast to the water. Spot a beautiful flower and take a deep breath. Explore what’s hiding under a rock, spy fish enjoying the protection of fallen trees, or feel refreshed after a cool swim.
However we choose to celebrate Rivers Day, let’s remember: each time we visit a place, the place changes and the place changes us. Many thanks to the funder: Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada, the host: Cowichan Stewardship Roundtable, the Xwulqw’selu watershed, and the many volunteers for making this experience possible.
See you at the river!