NWT environmentalist Doug Ritchie will be remembered at a celebration of his life in Dettah on Saturday.

Ritchie passed away in early January at the age of 52. The event, at the Chief Drygeese Centre, begins at 1:30pm.

In tribute to Doug and his work, there are unusual travel arrangements to reach the venue.

A “zero-carbon convoy” will take people across the ice road from Rotary Park in Yellowknife (off School Draw) to Dettah.

Anyone taking part is encouraged to leave their car at home and walk, jog, bike or ski the five-kilometre road to reach the afternoon’s celebration.

The convoy leaves Rotary Park at noon, although you’re welcome to leave earlier if you want more time to complete the trip.

“Doug really tried to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, so our friends stepped up to the plate and organized this convoy,” said his wife, France Benoit.

“For Doug, his celebration is meant to be a gathering of friends and family, and for people to be inspired. Doug could not complete all the work that he wanted to complete, and his hope is that this gathering inspires people to continue his environmental legacy.”

That legacy will continue beyond Saturday’s celebration, thanks to a fund being established in Ritchie’s memory.

“With the help of the Yellowknife Community Foundation, we are establishing the NWT Environmental Stewardship fund in memory of Doug,” Benoit told Moose FM.

“In the fall, we’ll be sending out a call for individuals and organizations to apply for funding. The purpose of the fund is to continue environmental advocacy work in the Northwest Territories.”

She added: “I’m constantly surprised at how many people knew Doug, or knew of him. Even people who didn’t necessarily agree all the time with Doug’s positions said they would be coming to the celebration.

“I knew he’d done a lot and touched a lot of people, but I’m surprised at how far and wide his reach is.”