What You Can Do & Where You Can Do Itby Rachelle Linde
Too often I’ve met people who say they feel that they can’t make a difference for local species because they don’t have the time, resources, or ability to do so. In response to that, I’ve chosen to create a playlist of British Columbian organizations of all sorts that are willing and ready to help you act as an individual, a family, or a class.
If you're looking for a hands on volunteer opportunity in the lower mainland, this is it. OWL is open for tours daily during the summer and also offers educational programs for schools and special events. My volunteer experience there is unforgettable & your's will be too. Check out www.owlcanada.org for more information.
The Stanley Park Ecology Society has opportunities to volunteer with invasive plant pulls, bird monitoring, and the Eco-Stewards Program. They also offer school and public programs and you can always explore the Stanley Park Nature House. Visit http://stanleyparkecology.ca/education/ to find out more!
Having grown up in Delta, I've always considered Burns Bog as an extension of my own backyard. The Bog is a beautiful ecosystem that is "globally unique" and at least 400 species of migratory birds have been seen passing through there. With running events, tours, and summer camps, there are many ways to get involved and to learn more.
The Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve boasts trails full of bird blinds and lookouts, and I had the opportunity to explore the Interpretive Center. It houses a beautiful collection of preserved species, a few that not even the Royal BC Museum has in its collection! Get involved as a volunteer, bring your school, or even adopt a Great Blue Heron nest.
In the Okanagan and Similkameen invasive species are having huge impacts on local flora and fauna. OASISS is combating those species through education on prevention, detection and management. We asked OASISS to join our Species at Risk camps in Oliver and Osoyoos and our campers truly benefited from the hands on experience.
The Osoyoos Desert Centre is a interpretive facility sitting on 67 acres of endangered ecosystem. Their boardwalk takes you past educational signs and sights and the centre itself is home to wonderful displays of local organisms. By visiting, donating, and sharing the importance of Canada's "pocket desert" you can have a positive impact.