NEWS & UPDATES - January 2022
It is Time for a Change and for Action
From Jim Posynick

I have been Chair of KCDCS for several years. It is now time for me to retire and turn my attention to some postponed personal goals and objectives. Looking back I can see that we, the Board of Directors, achieved many of the Society’s goals and objectives, among them charitable status, the development of a temporary environmental education facility to continue seasonal programs, the establishment of many key relationships, the creation of a strong social media presence and a greatly increased membership.
Board capacity has grown remarkably since inception in 2015. The Directors have learned a great deal about developing a new, modern wetland education centre especially the importance of collaborating with governments, private businesses and like-minded organizations. One recent milestone was KCDCS’ sponsorship of a Reconciliation Workshop for us and for Directors from several other local non-profits. 
KCDCS will now take some fresh steps under new leadership. I know the community will welcome the new Chair, Phil Harvey with the same enthusiasm and support I received. Phil and some existing Directors will have the benefit of working with several newly appointed Directors, all of whom bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the project. All of these developments bode well for the future success of the Discovery Centre project. I leave the project knowing it is in good hands and without regret.    
There are many reasons this community should embrace the changes at KCDCS. Change offers the opportunity to review progress and set new goals. It offers the opportunity to re-engage old, and establish new, relationships. It is a good time for Directors and our membership to speak to each other and share their own views about KSCDS’ future. It is also good time for community members of all kinds to come together to support this immensely worthwhile project.

Welcome and Farewell Board Members
At our 2021 AGM in December, we officially welcomed some new Board Members to KCDCS.

Please join us in welcoming Norman Eady (Treasurer), Clement Verhoeven, Jim Keumper and Andre Hebert for 2 year terms with KCDCS. The new Board members bring a variety of skills and expertise that are sure to be an asset to KCDCS. To see their bios, please go here.

We said farewell to long time Board members Danielle Sonntag, Jim Posynick, Greg Baker and Colin Yerbury. A huge thank you for your input, hard work and dedication to KCDCS over the years, you will be missed!
Muskrats - Push Ups and Feeding Huts

Muskrats are active during the winter months - ever heard of push-ups and feeding huts?! From now until ice-out, these features will be prominent in local marshes, as Muskrats continue to move around beneath the ice and snow.

Muskrats out on the ice are pretty exposed, so they create pushups . To form a pushup, Muskrats chew a small (10 – 15 cm) hole in the thin, newly-forming ice, and “push up” a pile of vegetation less than a half-metre high. This wet vegetation freezes, and forms a hard little dome for the muskrat to breathe and rest in safe from predators.

Muskrats also build feeding huts in the winter, which are mid-way in size between a lodge and a pushup, and are used more for feeding than the pushup is, since there is more room. Unlike most lodges, both push-ups and feeding huts will collapse in the spring.

With this network in place Muskrats can stay busy all winter, following their trails under ice and chowing down on cattails.

Have you seen one of these at the CVWMA?
Teacher's Corner
Winter Programs 2022
The owl program will bring props, games and activities to your classroom to investigate the wonderful world of owls!

Did you know that an owl feather glows under black light?
Did you know that owls can see a mouse a kilometre away (those are some eyes!)
Did you know a barn owl can eat up to 1,000 mice a year (and swallow them whole) Did you know that owls are zygodactyle? Zygo what!?
So much to learn!

Class Availability: Program is available for Grades K-7 with age appropriate content and activities (Creston area schools only)

For Grades 3 and up, we are offering the dissection of owl pellets as part of the program! The additional cost for this will be covered by us (thanks to a grant). You can have up to 10 pellets per class, so depending on class size, kids will be in groups of 2-3 for the dissection. We have dissection tools and microscopes and ID sheets to make this fun and interactive!

Duration: 45 minutes for Grades K-2 and 1 hour for Grades 3 and up.

Cost: $60 per class

To Book: Please use our online form or email us with the following information: School, Grade, Class Size, 2 possible dates and preferred time of day.
Spring Programs 2022
We know that spring time is a little far away, but we are opening bookings for our programs. Last year we were fully booked, so we want to give you the opportunity to book early and reserve a spot.

We have some great programs lined up for 2022!

The following programs are ON SITE at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area and will include exploration and educational activities and games related to the following themes:

K-1: Nature Explorers, Using our Senses
Grade 2-3: Water, Water, Everywhere!
Grade 4-5: Adaptations to Life in a Wetland
Grade 6-7: All About Birds

Programs will be 2 hours long. Cost is $4 per student
($60 minimum charge to run a program)

Canoe Tours (Grades 4 and Up)
These are one hour long and cost $5 per student. We provide the life jackets and paddles. Add this onto our other program for a fun filled day.

Programs and Canoe Tours run in May and June

To Book: Please fill out our online form or email us
Thank you for Your Donation!
A huge thank you to those that donated to KCDCS in our annual ask campaign in December. All donations received help KCDCS to deliver educational programs and keep the interpretation centre open AND help to further the development of a new Centre (you can choose what your donation will go towards).

It's never too late to donate! To support KCDCS in 2022 programs and initiatives, please click here.
Fun Stories from Other Places:
Stone Stacking Competition
Dunbar, on the east coast of Scotland, is a town of two beaches: one covered in sand, another covered in stones. The latter is home to stone stacking and the annual European Stone Stacking Championships.

Stone stacking is exactly what it sounds like: the practice of making towers or sculptures out of stones. This happens with full acceptance that these structures are temporary and will in all likelihood collapse, but they are reminiscent of more permanent, utilitarian structures—the route-marking cairns of Scotland, the inuksuks of the Canadian Arctic, and the taalo burial cairns of northern Somalia.

Some of the photos in this article are amazing! I am picturing some beaches on Kootenay Lake that could be a site for a more local competition...
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area
To access advisories and up to date information related to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area and to purchase hunting or fishing permits, please visit the CVWMA website or Facebook page.

Memberships to KCDCS are FREE!

To increase support and awareness for KCDCS' mission, we are offering free Memberships! Join the 1,000 Members and show support for environmental education in our region! This helps us to obtain grants and sponsorships to move us forward!
If you are interested in supporting KCDCS' mission to deliver environmental education and awareness programs, please click the link above. You can earmark your donation for ongoing program delivery or the development of a new Discovery Centre. KCDCS is a registered federal charity and can issue you a tax receipt.

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Our aim is to keep you informed on the happenings of the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre - from program delivery to the development of a new Centre and everything in between.

We appreciate your support and interest!

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