Photo: Foundation ushers in Year of the Horse

Foundation staff, volunteers and friends joined festivities in Vancouver’s Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Parade.

By Winnie Hwo

Volunteers, elders, Richmond Earth Day Youth Summit Green Ambassadors, Surrey's Do What U Luv dance group and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association joined the David Suzuki Foundation to bring sustainable horse- power to Vancouver's Chinatown New Year Parade on February 2.

This is the second year the Foundation has taken part in Vancouver's Lunar New Year Parade. Last year, David Suzuki led the parade team.

This year, our team was led by young staff, volunteers and our Richmond youth partners, who put creativity to good use by merging art with the sustainable power of bicycles. What's more, the parade organizing committee took our advice from last year and urged the 70 parading teams to offer only sustainable items to spectators. Team DSF handed out juicy mandarin oranges to 100,000 cheering onlookers. We've been invited to offer advice and information to the parade organizing committee this summer as it plans details for next year's event. Banning plastic water bottles is at the top of the agenda.

As for our youth partners from Richmond, a city across the Fraser River from Vancouver, they're meeting April 26 for the Richmond Earth Day Youth Summit, known as REaDY. David Suzuki will field questions from youth and is also keynote speaker at the event, which features workshops and activities to promote environmental stewardship.

This is the third year our team has worked as full partner with the REaDY Summit and the first time they've partnered with the Musqueam First Nation, who will guide programs and mark the collaboration with a ceremonial opening. This year's theme will be a celebration of the Fraser River, how it nurtures the communities along its banks and — most importantly — how we can make the future better by recognizing our connection to the river and the environment.