On Saturday evening, nearly one hundred community members came out to meet the PLRP team, and to learn about the science and exploration activities at Pavilion Lake. Most of these are people who live around the lake, or those who bring their families here for vacation. Many were members of the Ts’kw’aylaxw First Nation, and others make the trip from nearby towns. Community Day is special every year because we get to meet and share our work with the people who care most about the lake: those who call Pavilion Lake home at some point during the year, and those who have a deep historical connection with the area. Our project could not exist without the support of this amazing group of people who invite us to share their traditional territory, their lake and their homes with us for the two weeks of our operation.
After a brief introduction to the science and exploration activities by acting principal investigator Allyson Brady, Bree Mireau spoke on behalf of five teachers who are working to develop teaching resources based on the ongoing research at the lake. It was then the astronauts’ turn to speak to the crowd. Mike Gernhardt discussed the development of the new rover vehicles for extraterrestrial exploration, and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield told a gripping story about the 8 1/2 minute experience of launching to space in the Shuttle. After a brief question and answer period, the community had an opportunity to mingle with the team, ask questions one-on-one, and check out the Mobile Mission Command Center.
I had a chance to meet new people, and see many familiar faces from past years (hard to believe I’ve been coming to the lake for five years now) and answer questions about my favourite lake in BC. The evening was a great success, thanks to the participation and continued interest from the people who call this lake home.
Thank you, Pavilion Lake community.