When Jennifer and Joel Harding started being asked what they’d like for their wedding this summer, they gave an unusual answer.
“We just said that if you really want to give, to please donate to the Dogwood Initiative or the Raincoast Conservation Foundation,” Jennifer says.
The couple, both PhD students studying salmon conservation at Simon Fraser University, had already lived together for a few years and didn’t feel the need for traditional wedding gifts.
“We have lots of friends who are students as well. Some people may have had just $20 or $30 and we thought it was a much better use than maybe buying us a candle,” Jennifer says.
The request was well received, with guests commenting on how it fit perfectly with the couple’s lifestyle. Indeed, the Hardings met in the lab at Simon Fraser University in April 2008 and worked together in Shearwater across from Denny Island. There they studied how salmon affect various components of an ecosystem – Jennifer working in the streams and Joel in the estuary.
Both have been long-time Dogwood supporters -donating when they can and ordering Dogwood’s oil spill loonie decals.
“The issue really hits home as far as the communities and the people that we know who live on the coast. Trying to protect it is so important,” Jennifer says.
“We once witnessed a very small oil leak on sea water and it’s amazing how fast and far it travels. So much could be destroyed by all of that,” Jennifer adds. “You could see the oil slick for quite a distance and the image really hit home for me when I thought about what would be transported with Northern Gateway and how thick it is. I just can’t imagine something on such a larger scale and what damage it would do.”
Dogwood thanks the Hardings and their guests for their generosity. We are continually amazed by all the creative and generous ways citizens find to stand up for B.C.’s coast. Thank you!