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Environmental champion who cared for Port Coquitlam's Hyde Creek dies

“Port Coquitlam is a better place to live because of Shane," city councillor and environmental advocate Darrell Penner said of his friend Shane Peachman.

A longtime Port Coquitlam resident and environmental champion is being mourned after passing from pancreatic cancer last month.

Shane Peachman was 73.

Best known for his volunteerism with the Hyde Creek Watershed Society, Peachman started his retirement more than two decades ago by helping to build its education centre and hatchery at 3636 Coast Meridian Rd.

His widow, Jean, told the Tri-City News today (Wednesday) that, as project manager, Peachman designed the building, fundraised and used his contacts in the construction industry to ask for donations of materials, money and labour.

“It took three years, but he made sure that things were ordered and he called in favours from everyone he had worked with,” she said. “And you know? The project came under budget.”

Over the years, the streamkeeper also held various executive roles on the society — including president — and, among other things, he

  • trained society members on fish monitoring
  • offered free tours to School District 43 classes, groups and the public
  • worked with the cities of Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Pacific Salmon Foundation
  • built and restored off-stream rearing ponds, and retrofitted the Don Moore rearing channel
  • organized the annual salmon festivals and spring open houses

Port Coquitlam Coun. Darrell Penner who, like the Peachmans, moved to the city in 1971,  said Peachman left legacies.

“Shane and Jean were a fantastic team that made things happen in our community,” said Penner, who founded the Hyde Creek Streamkeepers. “They were (with Shane’s expert knowledge of construction) the driving force that got the Hyde Creek hatchery and environmental education centre built.”

“Port Coquitlam is a better place to live because of Shane,” Penner said. “He will truly be missed.”

Peachman was efficient at home, too, Jean said, having left his wife “with a pile of notes, so I knew how to operate everything in the house.”

Recognized by the cities of Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam for his environmental action, Peachman regularly hiked Burke Mountain in Coquitlam and studied its developments. He often spoke to builders about the development impacts on the environment and the hatchery downstream. 

Still, Jean said her husband was on good terms with the mountain developers including Wesbild’s Raymond Nothstein, whom he met 17 years ago.

“From our first meeting, I knew I had found a very special person,” Nothstein wrote on a memorial page about Peachman. “We shared stories about construction, motorcycles and, of course, Hyde Creek and the importance of balancing the needs for homes and people, and the environment on Burke Mountain.”

“Shane was never shy to let us know when we could be doing something better, but he was always quicker with compliments and thanks. We will miss Shane and his positive outlook on life, and as an incredible guardian of the creeks and environment on Burke,” Nothstein wrote.

Shane John Peachman is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jean; two daughters, Shauna and Reagan, and their partners, Bryce and Aaron; granddaughter Charlie; siblings Tim and Karen; and nephews and nieces.

A memorial for the society members will be held on Saturday; a private family service is planned for next month. 

• In lieu of flowers, the Peachman family asks for donations to the Hyde Creek Watershed Society or the BC Cancer Agency. Jean Peachman is also encouraging Tri-City residents to volunteer with the society to continue her late husband’s work. Go to