NEWS & UPDATES - March 2022
A Sad Farewell to a KCDCS Board Member
It is with a sad heart that we say good-bye to long time KCDCS Board member John Huscroft.

John was one of the founding members of KCDCS. He understood the value and worth of continuing the legacy of wetland education programs for current and future generations. He wanted to see the development of a new Centre become a reality and he worked hard towards that goal. We cannot express our appreciation enough for the dedication and passion he brought to our organization.

John was invested in his community. He grew up in the Creston Valley and had rich family roots here, going back generations. Over the years, John dedicated himself to many causes and projects in the community, ones that he was passionate about and knew would enrich the community. John was a pilot and had a deep love for flying and aviation. He had his own planes that he took to the sky regularly - he was adamant that he would fly for as long as he possibly could, and he did. It was his happy place. Before he passed, he was in the process of bringing an airplane, a piece of Canadian history that tied the Golden Centennaires, the precursor to the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds, to the Creston Valley (one of the pilots grew up in Canyon and was his childhood friend). He wanted to see the plane on display so people could learn about this part of Creston's history. John had invested a lot of time and money into this project and the community has made sure it will continue to completion. It will be another piece of John's legacy here in the Valley.

John was the ultimate businessman, family man and friend. He was always willing to offer support, advice, and a friendly face to talk to. John made things happen. He was tenacious and driven, he got things done. He was well respected in the community and will be greatly missed.

John's sudden passing leaves a hole in many hearts and in the community of Creston. We send our love and support to all his family and friends. Rest in peace dear friend. We know that you are flying high above us.

Here are some additional words from KCDCS Board Members and Staff

When I dropped by John's office on KCDCS business, I always knew to budget some time for chit chat - he always had an interesting story about something he was working on or planning. He often talked about his family and how proud he was of them. John was always in my corner, routing for me and offering advice and support. I will miss him greatly. - Carla Ahern

Lovely man. Aviation enthusiast and pilot. Gregarious and spontaneous. Entrepreneur. Raconteur. - Norman Eady

John was a hugely generous man. He took us on tours around the Creston Valley and told us local history, showed us landmarks and beautiful spots. It was always a comfort and great pleasure to be in John’s company. I want to believe he now flies with angels. To know him was to love and respect him. - Allan and Myrna Downton

He was a very special person. Very kind and full of empathy. He made time for everybody and tried to put a smile on your face. - Gitte Grover
Bullfrogs in BC: How to Spot and Report - Virtual Info Session
If you enjoy time in the great outdoors, you can help with conservation efforts in the Kootenays by keeping your eyes and ears open for invasive American bullfrogs.

For the past five years, invasive American Bullfrogs have been detected in the West Kootenays! In efforts to control their population a team has been conducting control work, with special attention given to the Creston area.

If American Bullfrogs become established in Creston’s wetlands the consequences could be devastating for local amphibians, including the endangered Northern leopard frog. Bullfrogs are known to eat anything that fits into their mouths, including other frogs. In addition, they are carriers of a pathogen that has caused high mortality in amphibians across the globe.

YOU can help us find bullfrog populations and save native wildlife! During the info session you will learn how to ID and report bullfrog sightings. The session will also cover the history of their invasion, why they are such a threat and the importance of B.C.’s native frogs!

Community involvement is an effective tool when it comes to conservation efforts. Our first confirmed sighting of bullfrogs in Creston was thanks to a local outdoor enthusiast who heard a bullfrog call and reported it.

Join CKISS for an informative virtual information session on March 10th at 6PM PST.

For more details and to register, go here.

More Events of Interest
8th Annual Kootenay Lake Summit
March 8-9, Online

Join Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society for two moderated panel discussions, each featuring four knowledge keepers who will be answering questions and engaging in discussion about boating and fisheries on the lake. Topic 1: Envisioning Sustainable Boating on Kootenay Lake. Topic 2: Restoring Kootenay Lake’s Fisheries. This is your chance to ask experts about the past, present and future of these topics, voice your concerns, and learn about Kootenay Lake and watershed. Both panels will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. PT.

Water Education Resources
March 10, Online

Join Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network partners at three leading Canadian water education organizations that provide support and resources for educators and learners. Water Rangers, Project WET and Ocean Wise will provide insights and ideas for better engaging your learners in water education projects and initiatives. Starts 4 pm PT / 5 pm MT. 

Owl Nest Cams
Live wildlife cameras are a treat to view, getting an instant snapshot into the lives of a variety of critters.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has some great nest cameras on various bird nests, including some owls...Currently, a great horned owl nest in the southern US has one owlet that hatched mid February. And a Barred Owl has laid its first egg in the last few days and there will be a live camera up and running soon for this family.

Barred Owl Nest Cam COMING SOON! View a short video of the female laying its first egg of the season HERE!
Teacher's Corner
Book Your 2022 Wetland Excursion!
Spring is just around the corner and we are excited to be offering onsite wetland excursions starting May 16th! We are taking bookings, so get in touch! Last year we were fully booked, so book early to 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 from May 16 till the end of June

To Book: Please fill out our online form or email us

Owl Program was a Hoot!
A huge thank you to all the classes that participated in our winter, in-class Owl Program. We hosted 22 classes - close to 500 students! The photo on the right shows a student dissecting an owl pellet. We hope to offer more in-class program opportunities this fall!
2022 Summer Camp - Registration Open!
If you're interested in signing your child up for our summer camps, we have set the dates in July and August and are taking registrations!

Check out this link for more details. Programs are available for kids ages 4 to 13.

The camps are week-long and kids spend their days exploring the wetland. Activities such as hiking, canoeing, group games and challenges, experiments, crafts, journalling and more engage the kids in nature and science themed fun!
Here's what one parent had to say about the camp last year...

“Our child had an amazing time!!! He was full of stories about the things he learned about nature and he was way more engaged than he normally is at school. Thank you so much for everything you did to make it a great week!! We cannot wait until next summer!!”
We are HIRING!!
Do you have a love of nature and science? Are you passionate about inspiring people about the natural world? As a Wetland Naturalist with the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre, you will motivate, inspire, and connect children and adults to the wonderful world of wetlands by providing quality environmental education programs and front country excursions at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Seasonal positions run from May to September. Apply with a resume and cover letter by March 11, 2022.

To learn more about the position and how to apply, go here.
Bear Safety and Dog Etiquette
As spring approaches, hibernating wildlife begin to wake...more specifically bears are waking up! Wildlife and Bear Safety when recreating in the back country or even the trails of the CVWMA, is an important consideration. At the CVWMA, we see both grizzlies and black bears in the spring time - they come out of hibernation and make their way to the Valley bottom where there is new plant growth to eat. One needs to be aware of their potential presence and knowledgeable about what to do if you encounter a bear on the trails.

WildSafeBC is offering a free online course. It's 30 minutes long and gives you some tips and best practices for safely cohabitating with our furry neighbours. Check it out!

Dog etiquette...when you have your dog out for a walk on the trails at the CVWMA, please have them on a leash and pick up after them when they poop. Many species of wildlife are especially vulnerable to the threat of a dog chasing them and disturbing their activities. Having a dog on a leash limits this threat.

And no one likes to step in dog poop. More and more people seem to not be picking up after their dogs, especially over the winter months, leaving vast amounts of it all over the trails. Please be respectful to others and clean up after your pet.

PS - Leaving bags full of poop along the trail and in the parking lot is not quite what we are looking for either...pack it out! Thank you!
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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