Discovery Centre

This is the place to find updates, articles, insights, Board musings, stories, etc…

Check back regularly to keep in the loop!


Updated Business Plan

April 2, 2024

KCDCS has updated its Business Plan.  To view, please check out the link below:


Discovery Centre KCDCS Business Plan 2024-2026 Discovery Centre Appendix I: Member Survey Discovery Centre Appendix II: Project Management RoadMap


Seasonal Wetland Naturalist Positions – Hiring Now!

Closing date: February 23rd, 2024

Do you have a love of nature and science? Are you passionate about inspiring people about the natural world? As a Wetland Naturalist, 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.


Position runs from May 6th to August 31st, 2024.  Please apply with a resume and cover letter specifying how your skills and experience would make you an ideal candidate for a Wetland Naturalist position.


Submit your documents to: Carla Ahern, Senior Manager at KCDCS

·      Email:

·      Post: Box 763, Creston, BC V0B 1G0.

Note: Only those applicants chosen for interviews will be contacted.  No phone calls please.


For more details, please see Job Posting below.


Discovery Centre Wetland Naturalist Job Posting 2024


KCDCS’s Annual General Meeting – Wednesday, November 29th, 2023

Where: Virtually (via Zoom)

When: Wednesday November 29th at 7pm-8:30pm

How to Attend: Sign-up here and receive the link to the event via email

We will share with you highlights from the 2023 season as well as updates on progress with new Centre and financials. We are excited to also have a special guest presenter from the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA).

Discovery Centre AGM Agenda 2023 Discovery Centre KCDCS AGM Minutes 2022 Discovery Centre 2022 Audited Financial Statements


Hiring – Seasonal Wetland Naturalists

February 1, 2023

Want to join our team and deliver fun and engaging environmental education and awareness programs?


We are now accepting applications for the 2023 summer season (May – September) and posting will remain open until positions are filled.  POSITIONS HAVE BEEN FILLED, THANK YOU!


Please review document for more details and how to apply.

Discovery Centre Wetland Naturalist Job Posting 2023


Annual General Meeting

November 29, 2022


KCDCS will be holding its 2022 AGM on Tuesday November 29th at 7pm via Zoom.

All are welcome to attend, only Members have voting rights.

To register, please go here.

To view the Agenda and Minutes from 2021 AGM, see below.

Discovery Centre Agenda for 2022 AGM Discovery Centre Minutes for 2021 AGM


World Wetlands Day

February 2, 2022


Happy World Wetland Day!

World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on February 2nd to raise awareness about wetlands. This day also marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.


Why World Wetlands Day?

Nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have been degraded since the 1700s, and we are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. Yet, wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies and more. It is urgent that we raise national and global awareness about wetlands in order to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to conserve and restore them. World Wetlands Day is the ideal time to increase people’s understanding of these critically important ecosystems.

“Wetlands Action for People and Nature” is the theme for 2022 highlighting the importance of actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for human and planetary health. An urgent call to act is the focus of this year’s campaign. It is an appeal to take action and to invest financial, human and political capital in order to save the world’s wetlands from disappearing altogether — and to restore those we have already lost.

We are lucky to have the wetlands of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area in our backyard. Take a moment to celebrate them and find ways to connect and enjoy this resource! We have uploaded some colouring pages and resources below.


Discovery Centre World Wetland Day Colouring Sheet Discovery Centre World Wetland Day Infographic


Job Posting

January 27, 2022

We are hiring for seasonal Wetland Naturalist Positions (May to September 2022).

To apply, please send resume and cover letter to us!

For more information, check out the document below.


Discovery Centre Wetland Naturalist Job Posting - Seasonal 2022


Time for a Change

January 7, 2022


Check out the article below from Jim Posynick, outgoing Chair of KCDCS.


Discovery Centre Time for a Change


Annual General Meeting

November 30, 2021


KCDCS will be holding its 2021 AGM on Thursday, December 16th at 7pm via Zoom.

All are welcome to attend, only Members have voting rights.

To register, please go here.

Check out the Agenda below in preparation of meeting.


Discovery Centre KCDCS 2021 AGM - Agenda


Fall Migration is On!

September 15, 2021


As the leaves turn and the evening chill sets in, a new season is upon us. Usually by mid October, the fall migration of birds through the Creston Valley is in full swing.


Approximately 1,800 of the world’s 11,000 bird species are long distance migrants, traveling hundreds to thousands of kilometers each year to northern breeding grounds in the spring and summer and southern overwintering areas.


The primary motivation of migration is to obtain access to abundant food supplies. The longer days of the northern summer provide greater opportunities for breeding birds to feed their young.  As the days shorten in autumn, the birds return to warmer regions where the available food supply varies little with the season.


Migration is triggered by many different factors. Birds don’t read calendars, but they are very in tune to the seasonal changes in weather, daylight and food supplies. They move on mass to take advantage of areas with a rich food supply.


Birds that migrate through Creston area are following a route called the Pacific Flyway. Different flyways exist around the world and these routes typically follow mountain ranges or coastlines and may take advantage of updrafts and other wind patterns or avoid geographical barriers such as large stretches of open water. The specific routes that the birds fly may be genetically programmed or learned to varying degrees.


Many northern breeding ducks, geese and swans are long-distance migrants, but need only to move from their Arctic breeding grounds far enough south to escape frozen waters. Here in Creston, some birds stay year round, but most will migrate further south to where water remains open year round and the food supply is more abundant. Great blue herons can be seen year round hunting for fish in open water holes in the frozen ponds that are created by river otters.


Many of the larger birds, such as geese, pelicans and swans fly in flocks when they migrate. Flying in flocks helps reduce the amount of energy needed by reducing wind resistance. Many large birds fly in a V-formation, which helps individuals save 12–20 % of the energy they would need to fly alone.


For many species, migration success depends on the availability of certain key food resources at stopover points along the migration route. This gives the migrants an opportunity to “refuel” for the next leg of the voyage. The wetland in Creston provides the ideal stopover, giving birds a chance to feed and rest before continuing on their long journey.


Birds navigate their migration route by using a variety of senses. Many birds have been shown to use the sun and stars as a compass, making compensation based on the time. Navigation is also based on a combination of other abilities including the ability to detect magnetic fields, use visual landmarks as well as olfactory (scent) cues.


Migration demands a lot of energy. Birds store energy in the accumulation of fat. If you look at the size of some of the hummingbirds in the weeks before they migrate, they look like golf balls with wings because they are storing fat for energy for their long journey south. Migration puts a lot of wear and tear on a birds feathers as well. Many birds molt, which means they shed their old flight feathers and grow back new ones. During the summer here, many duck species shed their flight feathers and become flightless. That is why you tend to not see too many ducks flying around in the summer as they stay hidden until their flight feathers grow back.


So, keep your eyes and ears open for migrating bird species this fall. Different species are arriving daily at the international airport known as the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. What a great location for a stopover!


Virtual Boardwalk Loop Tour

July 9, 2021


The seasonal staff have put together a Virtual BoardWalk Loop Tour. If you can’t make it out to our wetland but want to see some of the sights and learn more about the wetland, then you can do so from anywhere on your computer, tablet or phone! Also, when onsite, there are QR Codes that you can scan at various stops so that you can view the videos easily on your device while on the trail.


Click on the pdf link below to open up the map!


Discovery Centre Virtual BoardWalk Loop Tour


“Miss, what’s a duck?”

Bog Blog

May 26, 2021

From James Posynick, Chair of KCDCS

This is part of a headline in an article on the BBC news 2 days ago.  It is about children who, despite living in a city just a few blocks from the sea and surrounded by countryside and a forest, have little or no exposure to their natural surroundings.  “Why” you ask?  Well one of the main reasons is that children (and adults, by the way) have become increasingly dependent on technology as a source of information about just about everything.  Why go anywhere when you can sit in front of the tv or your tablet, Google and watch nature through somebody else’s camera lens?


Parents and educators in the UK became so concerned about “nature deprivation” in their children that they created a number of charitable organizations called The Wildlife Trusts.  Today they have more than 850,000 members, 42,500 volunteers, 2,000 staff and 600 trustees.  All are dedicated to the mission and vision of bringing people closer to nature and creating more and bigger land reserves (“Living Landscapes”).  They believe science has shown their approach can prevent and/or solve problems including climate change, flooding, economic disasters, diseases like Type 2 diabetes, mental health and cardio-vascular disease (see  The Wildlife Trusts are a primary example of what can be done when like-minded organizations talk to each other, plan and work together.


Here in the Creston Valley we are fortunate to have educators who, as a supplement to classroom studies, bring children to attend our programs.  This is of course confirmation that there is no substitute for natural, outdoor experiences.  It also confirms the priceless value of the wetland and its enormous potential to have a positive impact on our children for years to come.  One important way of realizing that potential is to build a new Discovery Centre.


I am guessing there are not too many children in this valley who don’t know what a duck is.  On the other hand I am certain that there are many children in the valley, in the region and throughout the province who spend much less time out-of-doors enjoying the sensory delights of nature than indoors connected to a screen of some kind.  As a grandfather of six children who spent much of their early years in the outdoors, I have seen the impact of technology. They are lucky to have parents who push, pull and drag them out to hike, canoe, camp etc.  Just kidding.  As I said their early years were spent out there and they are happy to go just as many adults who had childhood experiences on the wetlands, happily return here.


The UK Wildlife Trusts are working to preserve natural spaces and reconnect kids to nature.  This is not an issue exclusive to the UK.  Are we as parents, educators, politicians, business-leaders et al doing enough to prevent “nature deprivation” from becoming the norm?  Are there other things we can do, that we ought to do, to ensure our children will make sound environmental decisions in the future? I think so.  For one thing, support us.  We have your family’s future at heart.


Hiring for Seasonal Wetland Naturalist Position

May 20, 2021

We need to add another Wetland Naturalist to our existing staff.  If you think you might like to be part of an education team dedicated to providing fun and informative programs to school group, families, kids and adults, then check out the Job Posting below and apply.


We are looking to fill the position asap!  The job goes until September 4th, 2021.

Discovery Centre Job Posting - Wetland Naturalist


KCDCS AGM – Thursday, May 27th

Join us for our Annual General Meeting!


When: Thursday May 27th, 2021

Where: Virtually via Zoom

Time: 7pm


You must register for the event. To register please click here.  Please register promptly.


We will be covering 2019 and 2020 fiscal years. 


Documents related to the AGM can be found here:

  • Agenda
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • Additional Reports


Creston Valley Bird Festival – May 7-9, 2021

April 15, 2021

The Creston Valley Bird festival will showcase a variety of virtual events as well as resources for you to take outdoors and enjoy birding in the Valley.


KCDCS will be hosting Birds 101, a FREE presentation, on Friday May 7th at 11am.  This event is for kids and families.


For more information and to register for events, visit their website.


To download a poster, please see pdf below.

Discovery Centre Creston Valley Bird Festival Poster 2021



Scavenger Hunt!

April 7, 2021

Check out this fun local community initiative – 3 scavenger hunts at 3 different locations throughout the valley in the month of April.


The first location is at the CVWMA, starting at the Discovery Centre Parking lot. This event takes place from April 16-18.


You can enter to win the an amazing prize package valued at approximately $500.00


See poster for more details or check out their Facebook Page: West Creston Happenings



A “Shout-Out” to Creston Valley Businesses

Bog Blog

November 11, 2020

From James Posynick, Chair of KCDCS

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

We are fortunate to have the support of our ‘partners’ whose names appear on the bottom footer of our website (scroll down!).  But the support of local businesses is also crucial to our success.  Local, individual interest and input into our project has increased.  We would like to see a similar response from local and regional businesses.  We need their support and input, too.  After all, they stand to benefit from the development of a new Discovery Centre.

Now some people think that business interests and environmental interests are polar opposites, that their primary objectives are so disparate – one to earn money and the other to protect and preserve the environment – that they cannot possibly work together, much less collaborate to serve the broader public interest.

Well that is simply not true of every kind of business – environmental organization relationship!  The people who own and operate businesses are human beings, often with families and children.  They read the news.  They know the importance of education in the plan to tackle the impacts of climate change!

Evidence of that can be seen in the photo above.  Rob Schepers, owner of our local Home Hardware Store (“HH”), is a long-time supporter of community projects generally and a generous champion for the development of a new Discovery Centre.  HH made a financial contribution to us to help us build Phase I and its efforts to remind the community of our need for more members resulted in a spike in memberships, bringing us very close to our target of reaching one thousand (1000) members by year-end!

A big thank you from us at KCDCS to Rob and his staff at HH!

Other local businesses that have provided invaluable support to us include Tratech Mechanical, B-Boys Special Products, Famous Fritz and Retro Café.  We have also enjoyed the general support of businesses who are members of the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Thank you for your support too!

We know there are many other local and regional businesses who recognize that a new Discovery Centre will not only be an educationally, socially and culturally important addition to our community, it will also bring the best kind of economic activities to the valley.  What are the “best kind” of economic activities for our valley? How about those that grow the local economy, generating new sources of revenue, income and employment while increasing people-friendly spaces and maintaining the quality of life we enjoy here in the Creston Valley? For example, a new Discovery Centre will increase eco, agri and cultural tourism, inspire entrepreneurism, and benefit local and regional  service and accommodation providers, outfitters, guides, restaurants, orchardists, farmers, dairy producers and ranchers.  The list is a long one.

My shout-out to local businesses is this:  contact us to find out how you can help us move this important project forward.  Do not be shy.  We value your comments, questions and concerns and will treasure the creation of a sound business relationship with you!


Not a Joiner?  Me Neither

Bog Blog

September 16, 2020

From James Posynick, Chair of KCDCS

I’m no youngster.  I’ve been around. Spent my teens wondering what to do with my life just like many today.  I had a lot of different jobs, worked a lot of places, got married and started a family.  My wife Terry and I lived in Yellowknife, north of the 60th parallel, by then.  Both of us worked to house and feed our family.  When we weren’t working we spent much of our time in the out-of-doors.

Living in a mining town (Yellowknife had one huge gold mine in town and another on the outskirts) raised my awareness of the fragility of our natural environment.  I saw two possible futures for our children:  one that was marked by the unregulated use of land in the name of ‘progress’ and another that was marked by collaboration between and among people, industries and governments to protect and preserve natural spaces in the name of ‘healthy societies’.

My wife and I decided to be change agents and advocates for that second possible future.  We dipped our toes in community work and found it not only satisfying but inspiring to work with others who share our goals and perspectives.

Our interest and involvement in community work continued when we moved to this beautiful valley in 2005-6.  One of the compelling reasons we moved here was the presence of the magnificent wetland and interpretive centre.  It was apparent to us that both were sources of pride for members of this community.  In 2015 when I was asked to join a new society whose Mission was to build a new centre, I was ready for the challenge.


Should I become a member of the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre Society?

If you live in this valley and associate with its people, work and play here or are enjoying retirement, you are already a ‘joiner’.  You have already joined a community, the valley community that has for the past 45+ years taken pride in its wetland and wildlife area and the environmental education programs and activities held there.

So the act of joining KCDCS as a new member is not very different from being a member of this community.  All you need to do is give us your name and contact information (usually an email and/or a mailing address).  We will protect your privacy.  We will send you a monthly newsletter containing information about our progress and planned activities and events.  You may vote at general meetings and elect board members.  You may give us your ideas, thoughts, comments and suggestions.  Input from community members is always well-received!  If you choose to volunteer to help us with events, and activities you will be rewarded with new friendships and, very likely, new learning experiences!

Maybe you believe in the importance of our work but remain hesitant to join KCDCS.  Here is another, reason your membership is important:  with a strong showing of community support for the new Discovery Centre, our chances of success will increase exponentially.  Governments, businesses, donors and private foundations will in turn support us financially and we will be able to continue current programs and build a new Discovery Centre.

Really?  Does community support mean that much?  In 1995 when the Federal Government withdrew funding from the Interpretive Centre altogether and the Province cut its funding in-half, your community raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to save it! This project is a ‘community’ project.  Be a part of this wonderful project.  Join us now!


Community Collaboration is the Key to Success

When you become a member of KCDCS, you will be joining others of diverse economic, cultural and political interests living in the Kootenay-Columbia Region who share an interest in protecting and preserving the well-being of our environment generally and, in particular, wetlands located throughout the Region.  It is a community that believes environmental education and awareness programs and activities are vital to achieving those goals now and in the future.  It is a community that recognizes the importance of working together to make decisions that will achieve the best possible results for the Creston Valley and the region. This is the essence of Community Collaboration.

KCDCS is fortunate to have established some collaborative relationships with organizations in the Valley e.g. with the Columbia Basin Trust, Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority, Wildsight and others.  We are also doing our best to develop mutually beneficial relationships with governments and other organizations whose input, energy and expertise can contribute to our success.  For example, we believe the creation of a new Discovery Centre and the development of exciting, new environment education programs will be significantly enhanced by working with First Nations, especially the members of our community who are Ktunaxa and members of the Lower Kootenay Band.  There is much to learn from their traditions, environmental knowledge and experience.


Community collaboration is a democratic process. It is inclusive.  Dialogue is crucial.  The free and respectful exchange of ideas followed by research and informed decision-making uplifts participants and establishes relationships that last.  We hope this project will create new and, perhaps, heal damaged relationships, all in aid of our Mission to provide environmental education and awareness programs and our Vision of a new Discovery Centre.


Be a part of the Legacy!  Join us now!



Environmental Education is in Danger of Disappearing

Bog Blog

July 16, 2020

From James Posynick, Chair of KCDCS

As governments around the world try to keep the wheels of industry turning and people working, mounting debt threatens venerable programs and institutions that enhance our quality of life and offer security against future life-threatening circumstances including climate change, economic collapse and disease.  Those programs and institutions are now more important than ever, especially those that provide the foundation for understanding the complex relationship between humans and nature.


When the post-war (my) generation went to school, the emphasis was on getting an education that would lead to a good job with high pay and inclusion in the looming age of technology.  The ‘good life’, including a single family house, a nice car, annual vacations and retirement income, was the dangling carrot that kept our noses to the grindstone.  In the meantime the weather got worse, flooding and droughts became the norm, millions of people were displaced, economic disparities contributed to social unrest and violence and, inevitably some say, to a world-wide pandemic.


Like most of the people from my generation, my education had almost no environmental content.  Only after my children were born did I realize what a mistake it would be to raise them without helping them understand the relationship between our natural environment and past, present and future human experience.  My family is lucky to live in northern Canada, has aboriginal friends and easy access to wilderness.  Our environmental education was a cross-cultural experience, learned first-hand.   Today, for largely economic reasons, most Canadians “experience” nature on television, at the movies or for a few weeks on vacation.


I get it.  I understand.  Humans need money to live and large urban centres are where the economic action is.  But humans also need to be more than mere observers (or social media critics) of emerging environmental issues that affect our and our children’s future.  We need to do some things.  One of those ‘things’ is to ensure that decisions about the future are well informed and broadly considered.  Why?  So succeeding generations can speak confidently, knowledgeably and passionately about the need for a respectful, protective relationship with nature rather than one based on human dominance and blind destructiveness.  Through institutions like the former Wildlife Interpretive Centre and the present Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre, both children and adults can learn the skills and gain the knowledge necessary to advocate for a relationship with nature grounded in stewardship and forward looking decision-making.


If you think having a Discovery Centre is redundant or a luxury because there are a lot of similar institutions around that will speak for you and future generations, think again.  The July 13th edition of the Smithsonian Magazine notes the closing of 63% of environmental education and outdoor science schools due to the pandemic and the fear among educators that they will never open again.  They served millions of K-12 learners.  According to research cited in the article, those learners benefit “from increased environmental stewardship and awareness… improved social, academic, physical and psychological health”.  Further, “nature-based learning has shown to be more effective than traditional teaching, to increase attention spans and reduce stress”.  Do you want our future decision-makers to be environmentally knowledgeable and capable of taking into account the social and physical health of everyone?


Our own research has shown that environmental education centres in Canada are largely financed by government.  Will that continue post-pandemic?  It might.  KCDCS will look primarily to government, industry and like-minded financial institutions to support our mission.  But you can help us continue the 45+ year tradition of excellence in environmental education in the Creston Valley, in at least three ways:


1.         Speak/email/text to your local, regional, provincial and federal politicians about the importance of keeping our programs and replacing the former Interpretive Centre with a modern facility.

2.         Make a tax-deductible donation or bequest.

3.         MOST IMPORTANTLY we need you to help us increase our membership.  Our target is to have 5,000 new members by April 1st, 2021.  You can help!  Go to the Membership page and sign-up.  Tell your friends, relatives and business associates about this worthwhile cause.





Creston Valley Bird-a-thon

May 12th, 2020

Results are in!  The Creston Valley Bird Festival organized a Bird-a-thon in Creston on May 9th, International Migratory Bird Day and the scheduled weekend for the Festival (which was cancelled due to COVID-19).  Birders took to the Valley, social distancing practices in place of course, and found 134 species.  CV Bird Fest wishes to thank to all Valley birders who headed out in the beautiful sunshine to find the following:

Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Red-necked Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Snow Goose
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan

Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Green-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Harlequin Duck

Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk – possible
Rough-legged Hawk – possible
Bald Eagle
American Kestril

Ring-neck Pheasant
Ruffed Grouse
Dusky Grouse
Wild Turkey
California Quail
Virginia Rail
Sora Rail
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
Bonaparte’s Gull
Forster’s Tern

Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove

Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Calliope Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher
Red-naped Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Wookpecker
Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker

Least Flycatcher
Hammond’s Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Cassin’s Vireo
Warbling Vireo

Canada Jay
Steller’s Jay
Blue Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven

Tree Swallow
Violet-Green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
House Wren
Pacific Wren
Marsh Wren
American Dipper
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Western Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Varied Thrush
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Wilson’s Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Western Tanager
Spotted Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Lazuli Bunting
Western Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Bullock’s Oriole
House Finch
Cassin’s Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak
House Sparrow



Respectful Use of the Wetland and Respecting Fellow Visitors

May 1, 2020

From Carla Ahern, Senior Manager

As the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, we are all seeking to deal and live with these new normals.  And with no known end in sight, many of us are unsure about how to deal with all this in a way that keeps us sane!  Many people turn to nature for respite, rejuvenation and recharging of “batteries”.  Whether you are feeling isolated at home or overwhelmed at work, nature can provide a way to find peace and physical and mental nourishment.


As a result of nature being a popular choice for leisure activity, now probably more than ever, we are seeing larger numbers of people accessing recreation sites.  This means more impacts on existing trail (hiking, biking) and waterway (kayaking, boating) networks as well as the ecosystems they reside in.


Access advisory for the wetland

The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) issued an advisory to users to refrain from entering onto the CVWMA until further notice, in an attempt to mitigate associated risks to human health due to the coronavirus.  While many may not understand or appreciate this closure and limits to access, the decision was based on the best interest of everyone’s health and well-being.


If you chose to still access the CVWMA, they issued guidelines asking you to comply with all applicable physical and social distancing and other health and safety guidelines issued by relevant governments and governmental departments and agencies.


Impacts due to increased use

The CVWMA has seen increased use of the area in the past month, as have other natural areas.  Impacts on the wetland ecosystem itself has been evident.  Many people are recreating with their dogs and while many leash and pick up after their pets, many do not.  At a time when migratory birds are resting and feeding and other birds are nesting, impacts of loose dogs can cause major stress and disturbance to these species.  And the amount of dog poop and dog poop bags that litter the trails is a little…gross.


Exploring off the established trails is another impact…this again can disturb the variety of wildlife that are using the area to rest, feed, hide and reproduce.  They tend to stay away from the trails and we should stay away from the areas they use.


And then there is vandalism…with increased use seems to come increased destruction.  The CVWMA swallow nest box lids were ripped off dozens of houses (volunteers took the initiative to replace them, thank you!), caution tape on benches and towers were removed and the amount of garbage along the trails has increased.


Respect and connect

We all know we should respect nature and each other.  And in a time of crisis such as we are in now, it is more important than ever before to support, help, connect with and respect our fellow community members and our local environment.  If we all do our part, we will make it through these trying times and our environment and wildlife will not be worse for the wear because of it.


Your neighbourhood and beyond

We are lucky that from all neighbourhoods and communities in our Valley we can just walk out of our front doors and access beautiful vistas, breath fresh air and get the needed physical activity we crave.


The Creston Valley Trail Society has a list of local trails and some of those might be worth exploring if you feel the need to venture a little father from your neighbourhood.  Just be smart about accessing the outdoors.  If a parking area is full or there are lots of people on that particular trail than maybe that is not the best time to access that area and you could try another day when it is less busy.  If you do access a trail, respect social and physical distancing guidelines.  Stay on designated trails to limit your impact on the local flora and fauna.  And finally, leash your pet to minimize stress to wildlife.  I think if we make these few conscious efforts, nature can nurture us and we can nurture nature.



Covid-19 and Environmental Education

Bog Blog Post

April 15, 2020

From James Posynick, Chair of KCDCS


So much has happened since my last blog.  The Interpretive Centre is gone.  Covid-19 arrived.  We closed our school programs for May and June.  The CVWMA closed the wetland to visitors.


The Interpretive Centre served as an environmental education and awareness resource for the valley and visitors from B.C. and all over the world.  Now only a large mud pie remains where it stood for more than 45 years.


We at KCDC have worked to preserve the tradition of using the wetland as a classroom for environmental learning, since 2015.  It seemed particularly important to do so in light of the science demonstrating the potentially catastrophic impacts of climate change. We managed to obtain funding for a trailer-size classroom and set it in the parking lot.  We continued relationships with organizations and people that generally supported and funded our programs.  We established new relationships, too.  We developed a modern, cross-cultural model for a new Discovery Centre to be built on the wetland.


Then along came Covid-19, a health catastrophe and, with it, a macro-economic melt-down.


Keeping our doors closed for all or most of the summer season means a lot of school children will lose the opportunity to experience hands-on learning on the wetland. In 2019 we hosted 1,181 students, 5,061 visitors and more than 1200 people attended camps, special events and canoe tours.  This year, possibly, zero.


The closure means a huge revenue loss for us.  While we have some program funding in place for the next two years, this is the year we hoped to take the next steps toward the development of a new, multi-functional, technologically modern and barrier-free Discovery Centre.  Our support group, including governments, public agencies, private foundations and individuals will also have suffered economic losses. For organizations like ours, there may be little or no money to support existing, much less, new projects.


From the outset, this has been no small undertaking.  The Board is a committed group, though, because we see the incredible societal value in offering environmental education and awareness programs.  To cut to the chase: if the prospect of environmental catastrophe hastened by Climate Change is not convincing,  Covid-19 demonstrates to combat threats to humanity, we need a well-informed, responsible citizenry, skilled at critical thinking and making well-considered decisions that affect them and their fellow community members.  Children and young adults who participate in environmental education studies fit that description according to a 20 year study of the impacts of environmental education on K-12 students.   Clearly, environmental education is a key element in building the capacity of communities to meet challenges of all kinds.  Learners not only gain an appreciation for our natural world and the need for stewardship of it, the skills they learn prepare them to become the community leaders of tomorrow.[1]


We want to continue in pursuit of a new Discovery Centre.  The project itself has great potential to bring the peoples of our valley together for the common good today and in the future.  When a memorable building is actual built it will bring educational, social and economic benefits to the valley and the entire region.


We hope you support this project.  We want to hear from you. If you need further information, use the contact information below.  If you can support us with a donation, please visit our website at or send an email to for further information.  If you represent a foundation or an industry with an interest in becoming a partner in this wonderful enterprise, please call our Senior Manager @ 250-254-0708 or email me at


We can do this together, for our children and for the safety and security of everyone.


[1] Primary study author: Ardoin, N. M., Bowers, A. W., Roth, N. W.,& Holthuis, N. (2016). Environmental education and K–12 student outcomes: A review and analysis of research. Manuscript submitted for publication.



Message from the Senior Manager

March 31, 2020

From Carla Ahern, Senior Manager

We hope that all our partners, colleagues and patrons are staying healthy during this pandemic.  It is trying times as we all make attempts to adapt and alter our usual ways of doing things.


At KCDCS, we are working towards finding ways to keep you engaged and learning in a time where we cannot afford the luxury of getting together with friends and sometimes even family.  Getting outdoors is one of the ways that we can work to keep our bodies and brains healthy!  We all know that fresh air helps in any circumstance to make one feel refreshed and rejuvenated.  Something that is needed now more than ever.


We are lucky that there are many places in our Valley where we can get out for a walk and not be around others, or if there are others, remaining a safe distance away is doable.  The trails at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area remain open. With over 30kms of dyke trails covering a large portion of the Valley bottom, there is lots of opportunity for adventure!


Access to trails is available at all sanctioned CVWMA access points except from the Discovery Centre parking lot – at the moment.  The old Wildlife Centre was demolished this past February and the CVWMA and KCDCS are working to get access back at this location as soon as we can (floating bridge is on order and if weather cooperates this will hopefully happen towards the end of April).  We are encouraging people who want to explore the trails around the Centre to use the Balancing Rock parking lot.


KCDCS is working to develop and link you to activities, ideas and variety of resources to help you gain the most out of an outdoor adventure!  For families, adults and kids…from scavenger hunts to bird identification checklists to crafts and stories…It can be indoor and outdoor, from window to wetlands…we hope to aid you in promoting healthy activities for body and soul!


So stay tuned to our Facebook page, join our eNews list, check back to our website – we are in process of redoing our website so stayed tuned for wonderful changed on that front!  Our new website will have a great list on links and resources for you to use in the coming months.


Take care everyone.  Be fastidious and wash those hands!  Video chat and call people to connect…we are lucky for a virtual world when it comes to the variety of avenues that we can use to communicate with the greater community near and far, so use those channels!


And hopefully we will see you, from a distance, in the wetlands as you plan your next outdoor adventure!