Kokanee Creek visitor centre set to open
Adielle Lewis picks up a piece of bark she found outside the door and inserts it carefully into the nest — just like the birds that build them. She is helping make a display for the opening of the Kokanee Park Visitors Center July 1.
She and six other home schoolers volunteered to build the osprey nest for the new Web of Life display with the help of osprey biologist Marlene Machmer.
“We want to show people what it looks like in those big nests we see on the poles and buoys,” said Machmer.
She and the children scrutinized a picture of a nest and once the materials were identified — moss, bark, twigs and grass — the materials were quickly gathered.
“Sometimes I find some pretty bad things the birds have used for the nests,” Machmer told the children. “Like bailing twine and even diapers. And of course, the odd Canada Goose egg.”
She explained to the students how the Canada Geese have moved into the osprey nests, a delay for the osprey that can set them back considerably.
This is the second season the centre will be operated by the West Kootenay EcoSociety. Last year the organization received a Community Legacy Grant from the BC Conservation Foundation to provide upgrades to existing displays and make them more interactive.
The nest is part of a larger display that weaves the bear, kokanee, eagle and osprey together in the Web of Life display depicting the different life cycles of the kokanee salmon. Murals were also upgraded to be more interactive.
This year the centre will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. thanks to grants from Columbia Basin Trust, RDCK’s Area E, F and H as well as the Young Canada Works program who is funding two summer students with the Friends of West Kootenay Parks.
“This is a real coming together to make this happen,” said the centre’s co-ordinator Mel Reasoner. “We will have yoga and a great dance fitness program for men and women in the morning, hikes, more kids day programs and the evening presentations will continue seven days a week.”
Reasoner said that volunteers were the key to the success of the centre last year and he invites interested residents to come out to the centre for a shift.
New this year is the RedFish Festival, Sunday August 26.
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the return of the fish and learn more about how they contribute to the web of life,” said Reasoner.