SLIDESHOW: A Day in Stanley ParkPosted by Guest Blogger
Guest Blogger: Brett Walker (Canada Team Ambassador)
I cannot express what a wonderful experience Team Canada had recently during a very hands-on exploration of our project: The Young Naturalists of Stanley Park – a part of The Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) – the Canada project for the Collette Foundation. It was called “A Day at the Park” — and in attendance were about 30 people including the Young Naturalist kids and their accompanying parents. Also in attendance were staff from SPES, Collette staff from our Langley office as well as Bethany Manchester, the Canada Product Manager and several tour managers who visit this park regularly on tour. Adults and children alike rolled up their sleeves and were active participants in this great outdoor experience.
We were all so thrilled to get involved with a day of activities with the Young Naturalists. SPES calls this beautiful park a big classroom — and for me, it was wonderful to walk through such a fascinating classroom. I definitely learned so much as did the ever-eager children. The day started out with kids and SPES staff taking a stroll around Lost Lagoon and identifying local bird species (migratory, over wintering, and local among them) and discussing different habitat requirements for birds, ways to conserve and create habitats (planting native species at home, strategies the Park could practice, and how the city could execute plans to help).
Older kids (aka Collette staff and friends) took part in invasive species removal in the park while the kids explored and learned more about bird habitats. The absolute best part of the day for all was when the “Big” kids and little kids alike convened at the Nature House to create ‘birdie buffets!’ Some might call them giant pine cone bird feeders. It was messy and interesting and an absolute blast.
SPES did a stand-out job creating the theme and activities; it was perfect for the spring season as migratory birds begin to find their way back through and into Stanley Park and local neighbourhoods.
After the lunch break, the team embarked on a dedicated walk early in the afternoon on trails that allowed SPES to explain the cultural and ecological co-evolution of Stanley Park and how SPES is engaged on all levels from advice to Park Board regarding endangered species to active habitat enhancements and the education made available to schools, the public, tourists and locals alike.
It was an unforgettable – but most of all FUN – experience for all. For me, I got to see up close the program in action that the Collette Foundation supports. The look on the children’s faces, their enthusiasm, the passion of SPES, and the pride of the parents present… it made me feel truly proud to be a part of this.