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General News · 18th November 2013
Leah
Have you known about Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) for years but still can't put your finger on what it is we do?

Or, were you involved with FOCI in the past and now aren't sure how to contribute?
Well, you are not alone!

In recent years, Friends of Cortes has been active in the community while also quietly restructuring to help bring the 23 year-old charitable organization up to date.

The public face of FOCI has taken a bit of a back seat while board members and volunteers have focused on specific initiatives and project goals.

Back in 1990, committed community members helped Friends of Cortes become a registered charitable society. The original mandate still guides our work today with our objectives being:

a. To identify environmentally sensitive areas, particularly on Cortes and neighbouring islands
b. To monitor and protect wildlife and the safeguarding of its natural habitat
c. To promote the protection of the forests, lakes, streams and critical watersheds and the enhancement of fish stocks where appropriate
d. To promote the study and preservation of the cultural heritage and historical landmarks of the area
e. To provide educational programmes that relate to ecological understanding and appreciation of the environment

Over the past several years, FOCI has met these objectives through the management of our projects. Some of the highlights include:

• A partnership with the Cortes Island School’s “Propagating Prosperity” project, which has brought local mentors into the classroom to teach students about gardening and plant propagation. Last year, FOCI supported the construction of the garden and the soon-to-be-built greenhouse.
• The Red Alders primitive skills and outdoor education program for youth
• Management and maintenance of the Regional District parks and beach access trails
• Marine stewardship and foreshore monitoring of 12 sites on the island
• The “Learning to Live With Wolves’’ education campaign
• Production of the Cortes Island Volunteer Directory
• Local trail mapping and production of maps
• Management of a community fundraising and mentorship initiative that has helped train community members in grant writing. This project has helped bring in over $250,000 of funding to various organizations on the island in 2013 alone!

Friends of Cortes Island exists to address the social, ecological, and educational needs of our community. We would love to continue building on existing local support and increase the communities’ understanding and involvement in the work that we do.

With our status as a registered charitable society, FOCI is also able to access funding for local projects. By administering these initiatives and local partnerships, FOCI is able to bring resources into the community that we would not otherwise have access to.

To learn more about our work and contribute your ideas for FOCI’s future, please join us at our AGM:

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24th from 2 – 4 pm at the Gorge Hall

Thank you for your ongoing support!

www.friendsofcortes.org