A Kootenay resident has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 BC Achievement Community Award and is also the sole recipient of the 2023 Mitchell Award.
Kat Hartwig is a resident of Brisco, in East Kootenay, and the executive director of the award-winning stewardship Living Lakes Canada.
Hartwig says she was shocked after she found out about the award for her team’s work in the Columbia Valley and this award will just go to prove how essential the work they do is.
“I didn’t know about their award, when I was told I was the recipient of it I was overwhelmed, surprised and grateful,” she says. “We don’t take enough time to celebrate the work we do, and the work people are doing.”
She says this award just goes to show how important sustainable living is and how promoting work around waterways is critical.
“Life is water, and right now we have a climate crisis that is impacting our water, and that is the main reason I chose to build an organization to address the crisis,” Hartwig says. “We are all dependent on this regardless of the sector we are in.
“We are dependent on the health of our waterways.”
Hartwig says she hopes this award will illustrate to future generations just how important her team’s work is and that the torch will be carried for years to come.
“We are looking to see who is left to continue the work, and broaden the base of young people,” she says. “We need to empower them because it is their future. I feel like there is a lot more work to do.”
She says everyone can take part in stewardship and is urging everyone to get involved.