Summer was a busy season at Richmond Nature
Park and we’re a bit behind on our blog so its time to catch up on our
news. Highlights of the season, in no
particular order, include:
- A variety of nature programs for children between the ages of 4
and 10. The programs were anything from half a day to 4 days in
length. Program topics included
everything from A to Z – literally! If you challenge 20 children on a bus
trip to come up with 4 different animals for each letter of the alphabet
you will hear about everything under the sun.
- Our summer leaders were excellent! They were (are!) talented,
professional and fun and provided the children (see above) with wonderful
summer memories. They weren’t here nearly long enough though and when we
said goodbye to them at the end of August it was a bit like a balloon had
burst – all that wonderful energy and enthusiasm went out the door with
them. I’d like to thank Meagan and Greg for a very special summer and wish
them well at university this term.
- Summer wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of a
marvellous group of volunteers. Most of our volunteers are youth from the
Richmond area that want to give something to their community while gaining
skills and work experience. We are truly blessed to attract such wonderful
volunteers so I hope you’ll all join me in a great big “thank you” for
- The Blueberry Tea and Sale was a great success. Our thanks to the BC Blueberry Council for
the berries and ABC Country Restaurant for pies (lots and lots of
scrumptiously juicy pies).
- There was a concert in the park this summer. A first for us and something we’d like
to repeat, as it was a lovely interlude for a summer’s eve. Watch for it again next year and plan to
bring a picnic dinner while you enjoy the music.
- 7 sculptures were installed in the gardens around the entry
deck at the visitor kiosk in August. These pieces, a set called “Green
Symphony”, are a celebration of nature through the eyes of school
children. We hope you’ll enjoy
- For the past few years we’ve hosted international student
volunteers who come to Richmond for an opportunity to see a bit of Canada,
practice their English and lend a hand where needed. This year, 6 volunteers from France and
Japan have helped us with conservation projects that keep invasive plants
out of the bog. Thank you Clement, Laurent, Clementine, Mayu, Taiki and
Yuki. We are grateful for your help
and for teaching us about your countries.
And so, on to fall:
It felt like summer just a few days ago,
and technically it is still summer for a couple more weeks, but all the
signs of fall are here: days are getting
shorter, the summer birds have gone and the migrants are streaming through, and
plants are getting ready for winter and the approaching new year - leaves are
changing colour and their seeds are already set for spring.
If you’re reluctant to welcome autumn
there’s still time to enjoy something that we usually associate with summer. It’s hummingbirds. Rufous Hummingbirds nest in
the Nature Park each summer and have become very popular with local
birdwatchers and photographers. They
come in March, stay until August and by now are settling in to enjoy the sun in
a semi-tropical forest somewhere. But
there are still hummingbirds to be seen. Anna’s Hummingbirds are known to over
winter on the coast – possibly due to people who keep hummingbird feeders out
year round. It would appear that we’ve caught the attention of a small group of
these birds and are seeing them regularly at a feeder behind the Nature
House. They’re quite shy so we ask that
you respect their space by staying several meters away from the feeder while
you watch them. By the way, we still
have hummingbird feeders in the Nature House gift shop so you can buy one for
your garden or as a gift for someone else.
Changes to the playground:
The playground in the Nature Park is very
popular but quite dated and due for a change.
Richmond Parks Department is about to start work on a Family Play Space
that will feature new play structures and natural play features. The play space will be larger than the
existing play tower and will accommodate more children and a wider range of
ages. It will also include improvements to the nearby pond to allow access for
educational activities. Work will begin
the week of September 19 and continue, in stages, through 2012 and 2013. Stay tuned – this is going to be awesome.
I saved the best news for last – our
school programs are back!!
Our school programs were on hiatus last
year as the RNPS addressed financial challenges common to many not-for-profit
groups these days. But we’ve got a new
strategy and will be ready to take bookings by the end of September. Please note that this is a new beginning for
our school programs so they’ll be different than in previous years. Remember
that those programs took years to perfect so we’ll appreciate your support
while we finesse the new look. Teachers can call us on weekdays (604.718-6188)
for more information or to put your name on a wait list.
Posted by Kristine Bauder, Nature Park