New funding expands programs

A burst of new funding will help the Kokanee Creek Visitor’s Centre expand its programs and improve its displays.

Nelson city councillor Kim Charlesworth explores the Kokanee Visitor’s Centre at Kokanee Creek Park.

A burst of new funding will help the Kokanee Creek Visitor’s Centre expand its programs and improve its displays.

The West Kootenay EcoSociety has won a $19,000 grant from the British Columbia Conservation Foundation’s Legacy Program for new and improved displays and learning tools, while Regional District of Central Kootenay directors Ramona Faust and Ron Mickel will provide funding for programs that reach community members in the region.

“We’re extremely excited, as the legacy grant will enable us to upgrade the interpretative displays inside the facility,” said centre coordinator Mel Reasoner. “It’s a great way to say happy 100th birthday BC Parks.”

The centre has commissioned Nelson artist and business display designer Brian McLachlan to work with the centre’s naturalists to develop fun and interactive pieces for the centre. The project will also feature an installation entitled The Web of Life which will feature the kokanee salmon’s vital role in the life of the osprey, the bear, and the aquatic ecosystem of Kootenay Lake.

A $10,000 grant from Area E director Faust will provide support to daily interpretative programs for park visitors and residents, while a $4,000 grant from Area F director Mickel is focused on children’s programs.

“These grants will enable us to buy teaching materials for the Discovery Room and present afternoon nature programs for children this summer,” says Reasoner. “We are very grateful for the support we’ve received to date. In addition to providing programs for the campers, we are focusing on North Shore and Nelson residents and inviting them to bring their kids to the park to explore their love of nature.”

The centre is open daily from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 9 p.m.

New to the park this year are programs such as yoga and fitness in the Park, movies and Oxygen Theatre in the park which join the old favourites of storytelling in the park, Jerry’s Rangers and evening naturalist programs.

The EcoSociety operates the Kokanee Creek Visitor Centre in partnership with BC Parks and Friends of West Kootenay Park, with generous support from Columbia Basin Trust.

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