Two more for One World

A new speaker series at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre  is running and continues through February. One Earth.  


Learning at the Ecology Centre


The One Earth series celebrates this special planet we call home. Explore its incredible diversity! See it through the eyes of scientists, naturalists, and photographers as they share their inspirational stories and knowledge about the natural world. This speaker series is hosted at the Ecology Centre and is for ages 15 and up.

Cost: $9 per person

Register by calling the Ecology Centre at 604-990-3755.


A gathering of eagles


Saturday, January 25, 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Presenter: David Hancock

Some of the largest concentrations of wintering bald eagles occur along the rivers and estuaries near Vancouver. Get a bird’s eye view into the world of these amazing raptors with David Hancock of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation. David is a biologist, conservationist, and lecturer who has spent most of his life studying West Coast and Arctic wildlife with a particular focus on understanding bald eagle adaptations to the urban environment.

Registration Required: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/a-gathering-of-eagles-vancouvers-urban-eagles-tickets-73863121585 or Phone 604-990-3755.


Communing with carnivores


Saturday, February 1, 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Presenter: Darren Colello

Large carnivores play a crucial role maintaining the health of ecosystems around the world. Explore the beauty, challenges, and connections of the big carnivores with biologist and wildlife photographer Darren Colello. Learn about conservation and species preservation as Darren shares his experiences with grizzlies, big cats, wild canids, hyenas, and more.

Registration Required: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/on-the-brink-carnivore-conservation-tickets-73863883865 or Phone 604-990-3755.

Project read for Project Samuel

Last year, the Pearmain family from Lynn Valley travelled for the second time to Zambia – suitcases stuffed with donated local soccer jerseys and reading supplies. It proved to be a  powerful catalyst for Argyle student Hope Pearmain, who will embark on a four-month internship to teach literacy after graduating this summer. 


Project Samuel


LynnValleyLife shared the story of Project Samuel last spring. It is worth a read but in a nutshell: The Pearmain family is helping to support the education of 24 orphans in Africa inspired by their friendship with former North Vancouverite Kim Close who is on the ground working and living in Zambia. Now with her own connection to Zambia, their daughter Hope is planning her third trip in as many years. 


Thank you


With education support being the underlying goal of all their visits, Debbie and Hope Pearmain spent last spring working with literacy teacher Susan McLean and gathering a few items for the children before heading off to Project Samuel, in rural Zambia.

“We want to say thank you to Lynn Valley and the North Shore Girls Soccer and North Shore Football Club,” said Debbie Pearmain. “We wear able to take over 100 soccer jerseys, cleats and balls. We were able to give the high school enough jerseys for their entire team.” 

Soccer is a powerful social connector, explained Pearmain. A local church, North Shore Alliance,  sent a team to Zambia and was able to lead a soccer camp reaching up to 100 kids a day. In a place where many can’t afford education or don’t have the literacy to attend high school, community engagement like sports makes a huge difference, she said. 

 


Start with reading


On their first trip to the Chibombo District of central Zambia, Pearmain noticed a number of challenges facing the youth at the Project, as well as others in the community. 

“We helped raise the money to keep these kids in school but we were compelled to go back because I realized half the kids wouldn’t pass their Grade 7 exams because their English literacy is poor,” she said. “If they can pass their government exams they can stay in school. Once they can read – it’s their ticket to achieve their potential.”

Pearmain emphasized the students and teachers do a lot with what they have but it’s so different from the resources North Vancouver students experience it’s almost unfathomable. 

“The teachers are working so hard, but they have 100 students in a classroom. Sometimes they have no desks, they have no paper and they for sure don’t any have books. No LAC (learning assistance class). No literacy centre,” she said. “They are also double ESL – they are learning English, their third language, from their second language Tonga – one they may only have been speaking for a year or two and only speak at school. By Grade 7 all exams are in English and if they can’t read them, they can’t answer them. If they don’t pass, they don’t get to go to high school.”

It was a huge yet simple challenge that resonated with Pearmain, in part because her son also struggled with early reading. He was well supported here at home, an experience that connected them to, now-retired, literacy teacher Susan McLean. The Pearmains worked with McLean, and Boundary teachers Nancy Dale and Leigh Koeingfest, to learn a simple method to teach literacy. In addition, McLean gifted her personal resources after her retirement which lay the foundation of the Pearmains’ plan.

“Hope and I would return to focus on literacy. We started the program with the house moms and the older kids at Project Samuel before taking it to the local schools,” she said. “We taught a very simple way of teaching kids how to read – a seven-step process. And it totally worked!

“So then Hope and I taught some of high school kids and we literally worked with the kids at the Project everyday and they started reading. It was unbelievable. About two weeks in, we went back to the schools we had visited the year before and we did professional development with the teachers. When we did the professional development, we brought them the resources we had gathered here and we gifted them to the schools. Then we got to go into the classroom and were able to teach.”

The work put in by the students, teachers and the Pearmains quickly bore fruit. 

“One Sunday I went outside and I literally started crying because there were all these older kids from the Project in these random places – on a rock, under a tree, on the stoop, over by the chickens – with the younger kids reading them books. It was beautiful,” she said. 

The students continue to work and improve their skills.   

“I get emails from Kim [Close] – stories like this boy, 15 years old, who wants to be a truck driver. He had no hope of passing his driver’s test because it’s in English,” said Pearmain. “Now – he’s learning to read. He has a future. It’s the game changer for their future. 

“Fifty percent of kids in rural Zambia drop out of Grade 7. You can see during the day, there are tons of kids working in the fields or the shops or caring for babies.”


Evolving Hope


Hope Pearmain had visions through Grade 10 and 11 to be a nurse, said her mom. 

“But after this past summer, she came back and said ‘I am going into education and I want to teach LAC and help kids.’ As a mom, to watch her in the classroom was amazing – to see that sparkle and to see your kid light up teaching and doing something she was good at.” 

The experience led Hope to apply for an internship to return to Zambia. She will be spending four months there after her Argyle Secondary graduation, along with Carson Secondary grad Sofia Stanley. 

“She is going to go back to the rural school we worked at and be there every day in the classroom helping Grade 3s with literacy,” said Pearmain. 

March 7, 2020, the Pearmain family is hosting a fundraiser at the Hollyburn Country Club to fundraise for the Project Samuel kids. Those interested in supporting the event with donations or silent auction items or to secure tickets can contact Debbie via email.  To donate directly to Project Samuel go to: icmsgo.com. Then click: DONATE, select: Canada, agency: Project Samuel Foundation, supporting: Children and Project Giving.

“When Hope returns we want her to bring more advanced resources – it all has to go in suitcases. Books are heavy!”


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Holiday roundup 2019

There are plenty of activities happening throughout Lynn Valley and the North Shore during the holiday season. Check out some of our picks. 


Ecology Centre


The Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre is open during the construction in the park’s parking lot and the upgrades to the suspension bridge. The centre has many ongoing activities planned. It is open throughout December for some holiday cheer  Monday to Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 12-4 p.m.  Drop by for crafts, indoor scavenger hunt, holiday movies upon request in the theatre and 10% off everything in our Gift Shop. They have added new items to the shop, including handmade soap, reusable snack bags, scarves, and toques.

Friday December 20th there will be a special Treetop Tale celebrating the winter solstice. Bring a lantern or flashlight. 11-11:30 a.m., suggested donation $2. 


Holiday events at the Library


The Lynn Valley Branch of the North Vancouver District Library has two special Fridays in December. On Friday Dec. 13 from 1-3 p.m. there is Cider and Songs. Join the Argyle Secondary choir and sip some sweet cider – all ages are welcome. December 20th from 3-5 p.m. children are invited for a Crafternoon! Drop-in and get creative and festive. 

Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve! That’s right noon! Why stay up or wait for midnight? Kids of all ages are invited for songs, stories and dancing and of course a countdown! This is a great way to celebrate with the whole family. Dec. 31, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.


Play, play, play


Our definite favourite is the North Van Rec Pool and Play pass. It will cover you for a full two weeks of activities for just $5.25! Children aged 6 mos – 18yrs can enjoy unlimited access to public swimming, skating and open gymnasium sessions during the winter school break. The pass is on sale now and is valid Friday, December 20, 2019 – Sunday, January 5, 2020

There are also other great programs running through North Van Rec. Take part in Crafts and Carols at Lynn Valley Village Sundays Dec. 8 and 15 from 3-5 p.m. There is also a toddler Cookies and Carols evening at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Lynn Valley Rec Centre – registration required. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Good Neighbour 2019 – Matina Spiropoulos

We say it over and over. We love Lynn Valley. Sure, the trees are great and the trails fantastic but what makes Lynn Valley our home is the community of people. We are so proud to shine the light on the good work that happens throughout the year. This year we are excited to announce Matina Spiropoulos as our Lynn Valley Life Good Neighbour!


Spreading the love


Matina has her hands involved in so many aspects of our community – not just Lynn Valley but also across the North Shore. She is a connector. A community needs people with vision of its entire being; someone who knows what is needed and has the willingness to organize those with resources to help. Take this year’s partnership between the Mollie Nye House and Argyle Secondary. Matina connected the sewing class to help with much needed updates. 

She is a year after year supporter of the Mollie Nye House and has joined the board of the Lynn Valley Services Society. She is the chair of the marketing committee as well as the vice-president. She loves the cross-generational support it provides to Lynn Valley.

“Matina is passionate about our community and goes beyond the call of duty,” said Maria Roney, operations manager for the LVSS. “Whether she is fighting for change to protect our natural resources, volunteering at the many community events or developing and executing a social media plan for Mollie Nye House, she does so energetically and with passion and commitment. She is a true asset to Lynn Valley and the North Shore.” 

Matina’s work extends to those younger as well. She has been an important part of the Argyle Parent Advisory Committee. Helping with a variety of fundraisers and representing Argyle’s PAC at the district level. 

She is also passionate supporter of music – for years spearheading the open mic Sunday Jam at the Lynn Valley Legion (supporting also as a member). This is a resource to musicians across the North Shore. 


Beyond Lynn Valley


Reaching beyond our little neighbourhood, Matina volunteers with the District of North Vancouver on the Community Services Advisory Committee. This is a volunteer driven committee that reviews grants submitted to the DNV. She discusses, with the committee, social and cultural concerns that affect the quality of life in the municipality. Last month also marked a milestone for countless hours of lobbying Matina invested in bettering our parks and environment. She was a key voice in the fight to have all types of smoking/vaping banned in ALL district parks and greenspaces.  

Also this year, Matina has become an ambassador for Foundry BC, She helps increase awareness of Foundry and its services to support mental illness (ages 12-24). She liaises between community and Foundry at booth events throughout the year to help reduce stigma and increase community engagement.

“Matina has a passion for our community and supporting the work that many of us do,” said Nicole Kennedy, prevention educator for Foundry BC- North Shore. “She is dedicated to ‘getting the word out,’ informing community  members (at events) of how to access services, and always has a bright smile on her face. We are truly lucky to have her as a volunteer with Foundry North Shore.

We are so lucky to have Matina investing in Lynn Valley and beyond – thank you for the hours and hours contribute to so many parts of our community and beyond. Congratulations on being our 2019 Good Neighbour. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

(from the archives) The End of the Line: From family dream to neighbourhood gem

It began as a mom’s big idea. Connie Fay saw a chance to create a business that would matter – and with her son Jamie graduating high school she had the perfect business partner to do it with. In 2005 they bought the rundown corner store at Lynn Valley Road and Dempsey and dug in to begin The End of the Line General Store.


A place for neighbours


Jamie Fay

“It’s better than we ever envisioned,” says owner Jamie Fay. “I never expected to have an impact on the community. People say we are like an extension of their living room. We see families grow up. I’ve seen kids who were knee high and now they are teenagers – and I know their grandparents.”

The idea of creating a neighbourhood meeting place has been shown in research to foster connection and create a stronger sense of identity. It’s an idea that rings true for the Fays – respecting and supporting Lynn Valley and the North Shore is essential to The End of the Line’s success.

“It is everything we do,” said Fay. “We have JJ Bean Coffee. We have artist Vicki English – she lives a block away. Local suppliers reinvest in our community. It draws locals in because we get specialty products first and tourists can get something that will remind them of here.”

Investing in local goes beyond suppliers. You may recognize neighbours behind the counter and see the general store supporting Lynn Valley fundraisers. 

The End of the Line is opening its doors for two evenings in December to say thank you to all the neighbours that frequent their store all year long. [UPDATED FOR 2019] Nov. 28 and Dec. 3 from 6-9 p.m. join local vendors and many others for a customer appreciation night.


Making a dream reality


The transition from corner store to a thriving neighbourhood amenity wasn’t always smooth. Learning as the mother-son team went meant squeezing in part-time school while running a small business which led to challenges. 

“We knew we had to be committed and we would learn from our mistakes,” said Fay. “I didn’t know about running a cafe or a coffee shop. I didn’t know about managing people.”  For him it also meant learning to say “Yes.”

“A small business has to jump on opportunities. There is no time to wait. While I was attending BCIT I was approached to do some promotion for the business school,” he said. 

That shrewd move came as the business itself was coming into its own. They continued to embrace the “general” in their name by consciously offering something for all ages and to make the cafe feel comfortable and inclusive for all, said Fay. 

“Three to four years ago was a definite turning point,” said Fay. “It has taken a lot failure to perfect this craft.”

Fay attributes the ideal location as being essential. For more than a hundred years a store has been operating at the same location – first serving the loggers that gave birth to Lynn Valley. When the Fays took over the location they honoured the past, drawing the store’s name from its location near the historic last trolley stop from a line linking the headwaters to Lonsdale Quay. Today, without the parks nearby they wouldn’t have the visitor traffic.

“When a tour bus pulls up and they all want to use our bathroom that can be hard,” he said. “But I think most people see we are small and grab a coffee or we know they will remember us for their next hike and stop by for a snack. If we weren’t at this corner we wouldn’t be as successful. We know it’s the location.” 

With year over year sales increasing, the Fays have more plans for the future. They want to continue growing and evolving into what the neighbourhood needs. For 2018:

“I want to continue to make it better,” said Fay. “And maybe go on a vacation.”

For details on the Nov. 28 and Dec. 3, 2019 Customer Appreciation and Holiday Shopping Nights visit The End of the Line on Facebook.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

A local solution for mountain safety

A Lynn Valley dad has launched a new business to keep adventurers safer in the mountains – across Canada.   


National issue, local solution


The recently launched All Adventure aims to make essential safety equipment for backcountry adventures just a click away. 

Ryan Reilly

“Living in Lynn Valley, when you  hear the helicopter go overhead at first light you think ‘Wow, someone has had a bad night out there’ and you hope they are okay,” said All Adventure founder Ryan Reilly. “And the reality is: it doesn’t take long to get out of cell coverage. You head north out of Lynn Headwaters and within a few minutes you have no cell coverage. That can be nice – to be disconnected and in nature but if something does go wrong it can get really tricky. 

“My goal is to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.”

All Adventure is a personal locator beacon (PLB) rental company. While frequent users of the backcountry should have their own device, there are plenty of people who may need it one once a year or once every couple of years, who can’t or won’t make the investment, which is where All Adventure comes in. At $50 for three days and $80 for a week – all in – it’s a no brainer. 

“The ability to call for help is really powerful,” said Reilly. “What we see on the North Shore, is when people are in trouble, they get themselves deeper into trouble trying to get cell coverage – trying to climb a nearby peak to get a few bars. Without a tool it is really hard to do. 

“Most times everything goes well and you come home but there are times that things go wrong and it is really nice to have a safety device with you. Our rentals are for people, like a trail runner and who does the Lynn Loop and runs with friends, but once or twice a year they do something a little bit crazier, like going off to do Haynes Valley. You can do the whole trail and not see anyone until you reach Grouse.”

As passionate outdoor athlete and a dad himself, Reilly feels the goal of any adventure is to get home safe. As All Adventure was in its early stages, one news story from 2019 hit a little too close to home and reassured Reilly he had a good idea. 

“The one that stands out is the incident on Burke Mountain, a visitor from Georgia, was hiking to go fishing with his children and they ran into trouble. The dad made the decision to leave his very young children overnight and tried to hike higher to get cell coverage. It did end well and everyone was safe,” he said. “Those children were the same age as my kids and I think of that choice to make as a father in an incredibly tense situation and all it would have taken was sending one message.”


The All Adventure system


More than just a typical emergency beacon the Garmin In Reach Mini’s that All Adventure rents offers two-way communication. The feature makes meeting up with groups and point-to-point pick ups for trips like the West Coast trail easy. 

“We want to make it a simple process,” said Reilly. “It’s for anyone who is going beyond their norm. It’s people who are off to do something exciting and are looking for a challenge and need to take this extra step to be safe.” 

With All Adventure handling the shipping and accounts it is as easy as getting a package in the mail. When users are finished they mail the system back in a pre-paid envelope at any Canada Post box. They also have users review the ten essentials and offer links to other resources like AdventureSmart

“The North Shore is relatively unique in the world and it’s a little deceptive that you can take a city bus to a trailhead and have wilderness that stretches thousands of kilometres. It’s incredible,” he said, adding he wants to make it just as easy to do it safely. 

If you were lucky enough to score a ticket to the Banff Centre Mountain Film Fest showing Nov. 29 at Centennial Theatre – All Adventure will be there to answer any questions. 


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Building youth business

Students at Lynn Valley Elementary have been exploring entrepreneurship and building businesses with an eye out to supporting BC Children’s Hospital.   


Young Entrepreneur Fair


After months of research, planning and creating Grade 7 students at Lynn Valley Elementary will be holding a Young Entrepreneur Fair Monday, Nov. 18 from 6-8 p.m. at the school.

Students have been developing business plans, creating marketing plans, analysing costs, and manufacturing products. With that foundation laid they are selling their wares Monday. Next will come calculating profits and giving back. Students are dividing their profits between their Grad Fund and Bc Children’s Hospital.

The the diverse products students have created range from reusable snack bags to fashion accessories. From gum ball machines to magnets and so much more. This a great chance to find some stocking stuffers and Christmas presents while supporting local kids.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.