Robin Jackson firmly believed that people need access to nature, and that children and teen agers should be introduced to the beauty of the natural world and taught to appreciate its immense value. He felt that as individuals we need to reduce our personal and consumer impact on the earth, to appreciate the joys of self-propelled activities, and to develop a more responsible, sustainable lifestyle. He had no children but was nonetheless a “long-term thinker” who favoured initiatives that would pay off over time. With this thought in mind, Robin’s friends and family set up this fund in the hope that his work will be carried on.
Robin was a respected economist/lawyer who chose to come to the Shuswap area in the early 1980’s. Here he quickly became a partner in the firm of Brooke Jackson Downs. He did not specialize but took on criminal, family law and general litigation cases and was a member of the West Coast Environmental Law Group.
Robin lived in a rustic home in Deep Creek surrounded by forest and had a cabin near Wilson Creek, on the shore of Shuswap Lake. He remained here for almost 30 years before his untimely death due to brain cancer. Robin fully endorsed the “work hard, play hard” philosophy. He loved to spend weekends walking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and bicycling throughout the region. Most of his longer vacations involved river canoeing, hiking or mountain climbing, ocean kayaking, wildlife safaris, or other forms of adventure travel. He visited every continent save Antarctica.
After decades of world travel via airplane, he became aware of the “carbon footprint” concept and worked hard to radically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by his lifestyle. He planted dozens of trees and welcomed neighbours for self-propelled recreation on his land. He altered his consumption habits and transportation modes wherever possible by carpooling and cycling.
Ecology fascinated Robin and he understood the importance of keeping entire ecosystems, including wildlife corridors and watersheds, intact. He became a very competent wildlife observer and birder and was delighted to ensure that his own land and swimming hole continued to shelter rubber boas, calypso orchids, bats, newts, and a multitude of frogs.
He had a special fondness for snakes and turtles, and would routinely slam on the brakes, leap out of his car, and escort a garter snake or Western painted turtle across the road to safety. He loved being out on the Lake but never became a fisherman because he didn’t want to actually kill or exhaust the fish.
Robin loved nature; he loved the arts and participated in all that this area and its surroundings had to offer. As a dedicated environmentalist he believed that real change started with personal action and local projects. Others will carry his convictions forward through this fund established in his honour with the Shuswap Community Foundation.