Discovery Centre

Meet Our Board

 

John Huscroft

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 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.

Phil Harvey, Chair

Phil grew up in rural Nova Scotia exploring in the forest and hasn’t stopped since. With long time family ties to the Creston Valley, he now lives on a small farm in Lister with his wife and numerous horses and other animals. In between those times he has managed to gain education, work and volunteer experience that enables him to introduce to others the value of “getting out there”.

His initial education included a B. Eng. (Mining) degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now part of Dalhousie University). Heading out west in the early 80s he accepted employment with Shell Canada as an engineer. Experience then included a secondment to the British Columbia government in Victoria and obtaining a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Calgary. Later he was employed as an executive with both public and private oil and gas companies headed up by J.C. Anderson. More recently he completed the core curriculum portion of the Certified Financial Planner program. He still retains his professional engineering (life membership) designation.

Phil’s volunteer experience includes involvement with the The Alpine Club of Canada, Cochrane Search & Rescue, minor hockey, not-for-profit boards and major fund raising by university alumni. He believes that the Discovery Centre has a key role to play in Creston Valley eco-tourism and environmental education for many decades to come.

Norman Eady, Treasurer

Norman Eady was born in prince Rupert BC and grew up in Edmonton. He has B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Alberta. Norman moved north to Yukon territory in 1985 and met his wife Susan. They married and raised two children (now grown). Norman and Susan moved south to Creston in 2020 from the Yukon Territory. Norman enjoys hiking, snow-shoeing, playing pickleball and chess. Norman has served on various not for profit boards over the years.

Norman worked as a finance manager in the telecommunications industry up North for 25 years before starting his own consulting business. His clients included small businesses, NGOs, First Nations, and condo corporations. Currently, Norman is the Publisher of the Creston Valley Advance and is on the Board of Kakin Resource Corporation.

Gitte Grover

I was born in Marburg, Germany and immigrated to Canada after I obtained my Ph.D. in biology from the Justus-Liebig-Universitaet in Giessen. I am married and have 2 grown daughters that live in Terrace, BC. We discovered the beautiful Creston Valley in 2011 in the search for milder climate and I am currently working as a Realtor for Re/Max.

Previously, I worked for 21 years as a researcher with a forestry company (Alberta-Pacific) in Northern Alberta. I liaised with various universities and other research organizations to study the impact of forestry on biodiversity and ecosystem health, and we developed new paradigms such as ecosystem management modeled after natural disturbance. I held the position of adjunct professor with the University of Alberta for over 10 years.

I am versed in developing new projects through organized brainstorming sessions; project management; funding applications; public speaking at conferences; and business plan development.

I am an environmentalist at heart and a member of the Wildsight Creston Branch Executive Committee. I strongly support conservation of sensitive habitats and realize the importance of educating upcoming generations since maintaining biodiversity will be an increasing challenge with population growth and climate change.

Myrna Nielsen

After graduating U of C, B.Ed., 1974, I taught Language Arts and was Guidance Counselor in Secondary schools in Alberta for 10 years until I was offered a position as Director of Public Liaison, by Grant Notley Opposition Leader, Alberta. After Mr. Notley died, I was recruited to become Manager of Human Resources, Olds College, AB., and I hold the designation CHRP (Ret’d).   I did my post graduate work in Applied Behavioral Science.    Ten years later I retired to travel see the world, enjoy my rose garden, be a Sunday painter and care for my late husband who died of ALS.  I then moved to Ontario and became an advocate for ALS patients for three years.

On my return to the West I met Allan Downton, publisher of Creston Living, and came to live in Creston.  Together he and I have gone around the world three times, seeing and experiencing how other people live and how their cultures have developed.  These trips include cooking classes in various countries and I now write the column “Em’s Kitchen”, in Creston Living.  Our blended families include 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren and they all love to visit us in this beautiful valley.

Andre Hebert

Andre was born and raised in rural Manitoba. Some time after taking a welding course at the Red River College in Winnipeg, Andre moved to BC where he would eventually marry his wife, Carol. They have two children and are proud grandparents of four. Andre became a certified pulp mill technician while employed by Canfor in Prince George. While in PG and after many years of study and work experience, he attained First-Class Power Engineer status. In 2005, he joined BC Safety Authority initially employed as a boiler and manufacturing shop inspector responsible for much of the Northern Region. In 2010, he transferred south to the Interior Region choosing Creston as his base, over other possible communities. In 2014 he became a Senior Safety Officer and as an IRCA certified ISO-9001 Lead Auditor, audited oil and gas companies operating throughout the entire Province of BC. He retired in 2019 at 65 years of age. Prior volunteer work includes the Golden Search and Rescue group, the Nicholson volunteer fire department, and the Tetra Society.

You can often find Andre working in his shop. Life’s pleasures include family, listening to music, photography, and an assortment of outdoor activities. Andre loves the Creston Valley and looks forward to being a small part of the new and improved Discovery Centre.

Clements Verhoeven

A transAtlantic crossing by passenger ship in stormy November when I was four, summers on my uncle’s farm, and a 25 acre remnant of beech and sugar maple forest to play in  and run through (always late) on my way to school on the outskirts of London, Ontario, nurtured both respect and love for the natural world in these impressionable years.   At Western University, I completed an Honours Degree in English literature with Philosophy and German as minors.  Work experience in construction and industry impelled me to return to university to complete a degree in Secondary Education.  My early teaching experience brought me, my wife and three year old daughter to Waglisla, BC., the Heiltsuk community then commonly known as Bella Bella.  I am happy to say my son was born there.  From there we came to Boswell where we lived a happily rural lifestyle that included gardens and goats. I rebuilt the draft-plagued house and taught at Crawford Bay, and more recently at what was then Prince Charles Secondary School.

Outside of classroom duties, I undertook service that included chairing both Working Learning Conditions and Professional Development for the Creston Valley Teachers Association, encouraging debates and youth action which led to a teen drop-in centre, organising several successful district-wide Earth Days, sponsoring an eco-club for youth, and playing music with several community bands, and theatre  productions. I enjoyed the debates as the Green candidate for the Columbia-Kootenay riding in the federal election of 2006.

Retired from teaching, I continue to play music, renovate and rebuild, garden and help manage the forested land on Arrow Mountain’s south face overlooking the valley where our family is fortunately located  to act as stewards. I have served as a director with Wildsight and am eager to contribute to the ongoing mission to fully realise the goals for the Creston Wetlands Discovery Centre.  Wetlands everywhere are only beginning to be appreciated for the incredible biodiversity they support. Their role in sequestering carbon from our overburdened atmosphere is rapidly gaining our attention.  I consider their health essential to our own and welcome this opportunity to contribute to their and our well-being.

Jim Kuemper

I was born in the small farming community of Humbolt Sask. and a the age of 5, our family moved to Calgary. I remained in Calgary, married my wife Michele, we raised 3 children and currently have 6 grandchildren. I retired in January 2020, after working primarily in the electronics industry and most recently as Manager, Engineering (Western Canada) for a worldwide audiovisual firm. We moved to Creston in 2014, where we enjoyed a wonderful work / life balance with many new friends and experiences.

My interests include photography, fishing, outdoor activities, woodworking and motorcycling.

 

Interested in becoming a Board Member?  Please check out our Volunteer Page for more information.

 

 

Meet Our Staff

 

Carla Ahern, Senior Manager

With a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria and a love of natural spaces and wildlife, Carla has put her passion towards conservation and education endeavours related to wild spaces.   She has worked in the field of conservation biology studying such animals as the desert tortoise, northern spotted owl and northern leopard frog and has developed and delivered environmental education programs to youth and adults in a variety of settings and geographic areas.

Carla worked for the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) as their Education and Communication Coordinator for more than 10 years. This involved the operation of the Wildlife Interpretation Centre and its programs and events as well as promotions, marketing, advertising and fundraising.   She is so excited to continue to deliver and develop wetland education programming at the CVWMA and be part the process of developing a new Discovery Centre in her role as Senior Manager with KCDCS.

Carla is currently a Director with Wetland Link International, Vice Chair of the International Selkirk Loop, Vice Chair of the Creston Valley Tourism Society and Member of the Creston Valley Bird Festival Committee.  Carla has called Creston home since 2005 and happily lives “out in the sticks” with her husband and two kids.

Seasonal Wetland Naturalists

Wetland Naturalists join us seasonally to assist in the delivery of wetland education and awareness programs.