The annual Best of Richmond features individuals who live and/ or work in Richmond to help make it one of the best communities in which to live. This year the Richmond News interviewed 10:
Sharon MacGougan is a retired band teacher with the Richmond School District and lifelong Richmond resident.
She is currently the president of the Garden City Conservation Society, director of Tir-na-nOg Theatre School and Casa Meshiko Cultural Society; White Crane kung fu instructor, member of the International Council of Dance (UNESCO) and teacher of Aztec dance.
Sharon has a deep love of the natural world and is committed to the idea of “good measure,” something she learned from her father at a young age. Always give back a little bit more!
What do you like best about Richmond?
The natural parks in Richmond that factor in the needs of wildlife and support our bird populations.
How do you stay healthy in Richmond?
Walking the dog, kung fu training and Aztec dance for exercise. Spending time in my backyard forest for my spirit. And eating vegetables grown by our local organic farmers!
What’s your favourite area of nature in Richmond?
The Garden City Lands, mainly with the realization of how saving carbon sequestering peat is important for all of our futures. And Paulik Park; a forest exists there because a neighbour cared enough to plant trees.
What song best describes Richmond?
Birdsong is the first thing that comes to mind. As I hear them sing, I feel happy and want to ensure that they are always with us. I’m proud that Richmond is an internationally significant area for birds. May their songs always surround us!
Where in Richmond do you like to take out-of-town guests?
Steveston, because it reminds me of how Richmond used to be.
What is one of Richmond’s hidden gems?
The wonderful people, especially the volunteers, that give back to our community in a way that makes Richmond stronger.