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About Us

The West Kootenay Climate Hub is made up of volunteers working to meet the urgency of the climate crisis. We want ambitious climate action! We also want to help.

Our mission is to accelerate climate action in our region, primarily through facilitating connections, communication and collaboration among those locally engaged in addressing the climate crisis.

Since officially forming in October 2021, members of our organizing team and partners connect monthly to discuss local climate initiatives, create networking opportunities, host webinars, organize community events and meet with elected representatives.


We gratefully acknowledge that we live on the traditional and unceded territories of the Sinixt, the Ktunaxa, the Syilx peoples.

We are part of the Canada-wide community climate hub initiative. 

Meet the organizing team


Laura Sacks

I currently focus my efforts on climate advocacy and empowering others to take action. I founded the local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and am a Regional Organizer for the Community Climate Hub initiative. I am a trained Climate Reality Leader, and  an En-ROADS climate ambassador providing workshops on climate solutions. Before focusing on climate, I had a career as a hydrologist, operated a small organic farm, and helped raise two daughters. This work is ultimately driven by my grave concern for their future.


Judy O’Leary

I started my climate advocacy with Citizens’ Climate Lobby Nelson-West Kootenay and later helped found BC Climate Alliance, this hub and Climate Caucus, where I am a Network Coordinator. In an earlier life on the prairies I coordinated environmental impact assessments and then moved into education. Nelson has been home since 2010. 

Fun fact: my dog Harley has attended a lot of climate meetings, and traveled twice to Victoria with me to lobby MLAs.

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Ron Robinson

I have been involved with Citizens’ Climate Lobby Nelson - West Kootenay since 2013 and now West Kootenay Climate Hub. I will be facilitating a third climate discussion group for Learning in Retirement and continue to have climate related letters published in national and regional papers across Canada. In my spare time, I’m an active artist in mixed media and sculpture.

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Michael Vecchio

I got involved with climate activism in 2019, when the Fridays for Future West Kootenay started up. I have been volunteering with various climate related organizations since then, including the West Kootenay Climate Hub, Citizens' Climate Lobby Nelson, Extinction Rebellion West Kootenay, BC Climate Alliance. 


I love being in nature with friends rather than playing video games.


Steven Cretney

I’m a professional designer and facilitator using my skills to inspire action and create positive impact. Through my Nelson-based design and engagement studio,, I work with non-profits, charities and do-gooders. I amplify their good work and powerful ideas to make the world safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone… because I give a shit.

For two years I was the project lead and a co-facilitator of the Nest Lab, a social innovation lab supporting collaborative community action on climate change in Nelson.

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Craig DeLong

As a forest ecologist researcher, I have a long history with linking climate to ecosystems with research in forest classification, natural disturbance ecology, and old growth forest dynamics. I have a keen interest in projects that help reduce our impacts on the environment. I am a director of the Kootenay Outdoor and Environmental Learning Society and project lead for the Rossland Refactory which takes waste plastic from the local area and turns it in to products that can be sold locally. I am keen to become involved in more projects within the Kootenays which can reduce our climate footprint. 

We have another 20-30 active members

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