Green Club of Vancouver founder and environmental educator Joseph Lin dies
Dr. Joseph Lin devoted the past quarter century to educating immigrants about the natural beauty of their new hometown.
The Taiwanese immigrant founded the Green Club of Vancouver.
It's a local nonprofit group that offers tours of local and regional parks, heritage walks, and cultural programs, often in Mandarin. In addition, it organizes tours of the B.C. coast and B.C. Interior, as well as trips to Vancouver Island, Washington, and Oregon.
He was fond of saying: “The more residents know about the environment around them, the more they will cherish and protect it.”
On February 25, Lin died following complications from heart surgery.
The retired pediatrician was an environmentalist in Taiwan before moving to Canada with his family in 1993.
He was a kind and self-effacing man, especially concerned about the links between the environment and human health. And he played an important role in building bridges between local environmental advocates and new Canadians.
Lin always believed that after people went on nature walks, they would become more curious about environmental issues.
"Through their five senses, they can appreciate more about our nature," Lin said in a Metro Vancouver video created after he was awarded one of its certificate of appreciation.
According to former Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer, Lin was a tireless and passionate advocate for the environment.
He served on the board of directors for the Taiwanese Canadian Health Professional Association, Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Society, B.C. MUlti-ethnic Marrow TransPlant Society, Vancouver Natural History Society, and Pacific Spirit Park Society.
Along the way, he won numerous awards and participated in many international environmental gatherings.
In addition, he chaired the Sakura Team with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and helped publish a booklet called "Ornamental Cherries of Vancouver". And he regularly wrote columns on environmental issues in Chinese-language newspapers, as well as hosting a Chinese-language radio program dedicated to environmental education.
Lin didn't confine himself to environmental education, though. He was also a supporter of the TaiwanFest and LunarFest celebrations.
And in 2010, he was a volunteer canvasser in a public campaign against the harmonized sales tax, which had been introduced by then premier Gordon Campbell.
For a while, Lin was collecting signatures inside the Riley Park Community Centre until he was kicked out by the park board.
After intervention from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the anti-HST campaigners were permitted back into its facilities.
And eventually, the HST was soundly defeated in a provincewide referendum.