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February 28, 2021
Science Jam
   Yesterday, School Programs staff Alex and myself, attended Science Jam in Richmond Mall. Our exhibit was more Social Science based this time. We wanted children to put their names on a post-it note and stick it on our map of the world in any country that they had visited, lived, or had friends or family. This was as a result of our new environmental program, 'Love the Planet You're On'. It is a way of showing that we are all connected to the rest of the world, and by the end of Science Jam, the only unvisited continent was Antarctica!
For the older children we had a card game of 'pairs'; they had to match up an action they could take to support the environment with the reason that was a good thing to do. When they made a pair, they had a 'carbon footprint' with our website address on, to write the actions on as a reminder to them.
The map activity was really popular, kids and parents loved showing where they had come from or visited, or just had friends. And older kids really engaged with the card game.
It was an enjoyable early evening event and hopefully we'll get many more visitors to both sites - web and physical - from it.

Posted by Janis.

February 25, 2021

Squirrels come in an assortment of colours, and at the Nature Park we have grey, black and red (Douglas). The success of the bird-feeding area has had the additional effect of showing us a lot of squirrel activity.

The unfortunate aspect of grey squirrels having been introduced to the area - as a result of their deliberate introduction in Stanley Park some years ago, is that they do tend to have an impact on native Douglas squirrel populations. The picture is of a lovely Dougie snacking at our bird-feeding area.

Posted by Janis.

February 22, 2021
Beetle Traps
This week the beetle traps came back. This is part of an ongoing survey to find out how many and what types of bugs are around and this project is now in its tenth year. The beetles in question are responsible for some of the tree damage in BC and the results have been vital in persuading the powers that be  that there is a very real and persistent problem.

This week has also seen more progress in the landscaping. Work has been done on the area to the side of the Nature House, things are really moving along.
We have been enjoying some springlike weather this week and with it, a marked increase in bird activity and plant budding. The newly transplanted Hazel trees have tiny dark pink star-like flowers and the Salmonberry, the first bush to produce fruit in late spring, has leaf shoots ready to open.

Posted by Janis.

February 19, 2021
Internet Presence
I've been recording some of the changes both inside and outside of the Nature House, but in doing so, I am also recording changes in another dimension, the Nature Park's web presence.
The website itself is still very new, but it already has its own history.
At the beginning of January, the Nature Park Society gave the go-ahead to build a website. The first thing, the first brick if you like, in its construction, was to find a host that used green servers and from which we could get a .ca address. Both of these, we felt, were very important.
Alex Yang, the School Programs Assistant, did the research, found a web host for us, we bought the domaine name and he started building the site. We even loved the sense of humour of the web host we found, to secure a .ca address, we had to give our status to prove that we qualified. There was a list of possibilities from 'resident' up to 'the Queen' !
Shortly after setting up the website, four of us, Rich Kenny, Peter Harris, Alex and myself, went on a course at the HR MacMillan Space Centre where we learnt about the importance of having a dynamic web presence. So we are learning to walk, whilst being told we really need to run, but it was fun and we really did learn a lot from it.
Our most recent improvement, is that our Public Programmer, Peter Harris, has created a Facebook group for us. Here, fans and friends can join and register their support. We hope it'll be the beginning of something big :)

Posted by Janis : Tuesday 19th February 2008

February 14, 2021
Indoors and Out

So much has been going on outside the building that I had almost forgotten that we have something new inside.
Our popular bee artwork for children to put their faces through, like an old-fashioned seaside family, has been re-done by local artist Ramona Janson.
We're so lucky to have Ramona volunteer to do pieces like this
for us, the quality of work is amazing. I have a dragon by Ramona in my office that I simply can't bear to put into storage.

Meanwhile, outside, the new information signs are up and the old kiosk has been torn down. One minute it was there, the next it was gone.

Posted by Janis

February 13, 2021
Hazel Catkins and Pussy Willow


The work at the back of the Nature House has progressed this week. Two Hazel trees - complete with catkins - have been moved from the front of the house to the back and there is other landscaping that has been completed and ready for planting. It's all looking good.

Today feels very springlike. Kris saw Pussy Willow at the edge of the Park on Shell Road and Alex and I saw a turtle swimming in the pond. The Chickadees are in fine voice out there, except at one point on the Bog-Forest trail where we noticed an absence of sound. We looked up and there was a Cooper's Hawk circling above the trees.

Posted by Janis.

February 12, 2021

Sadly, at the weekend, our Garter Snake, Annie, died. She had been sick for some time, part of her body had been trapped during the Fall.  She hadn't eaten since mid December and had shown signs of severe and irreperable damage to the tail end of her body, so although her demise at the weekend was no surprise, it is nonetheless sad for all of us.

Annie was a big draw for adults and children alike coming to the Nature House and she starred in school programs such as 'Halloween Howl' and 'Snakes and Frogs', so she's going to be missed.

We have three remaining, though at the moment smaller and less beautiful snakes, Boris, Badger and Racer. I have a feeling that Badger might catch up, she/he eats voraciously and has grown a lot since we got her in the Fall. Racer is a less sociable and pickier eater, but has the distinction of having a red stripe down his back, making him a rare type of Northwestern Garter Snake with an associated set of shy behaviours. Boris is all red and lived in the tank with Annie, but he will now be taking over her role in the school programs.

Posted by Janis.


February 7, 2021
Earth Moving
Over the past couple of days, the lads have been shifting earth and landscaping it. Now we have a carefully contoured...well, pile of soil. And yet because of the constant change and because we can still remember how it was before, it continues to be exciting. It's like re-arranging the furniture in the living room on a grand scale.

Today, although some members of the team had difficult journeys in due to overnight - and unexpected - snowfalls, at the Nature Park, or rather in Richmond, it felt mild. We had the doors of the Nature House open and when later, after the school programs were over, we went for a walk, we were sure we could smell Spring on its way.  One lone Chickadee just outside, was singing his 'Cheeseburger' ('Oh girls! Here I am! Come and get me!) over and over.

And yet despite all that, the pond remained frozen.

Posted by Janis.

February 4, 2021


Work continues apace on the revitalisation project. On Friday, the rootballs of some shrubs and trees were dug up and bound for transport to the area at the back of the Nature House.

Today, Monday, they have been moved and a couple of shrubs from outside the window of our office are being similarly prepared. It's exciting stuff!

Today also being the first Monday in the month, we had our 'Bogwalker' program, an open invitation for the public to come and walk the bog with us and share the experience of how the bog and forest change over the course of the year. Anyone is welcome to drop in at 10.00 on the first Monday of the month, and throughout the fall and winter, we have had two ladies join us regularly. I would honestly have to say that we are the ones who learn from them.

This morning, as we went out there were a few large snowflakes that fell, but it didn't last long, and soon a watery sun was trying to break through.  It was easy to see where the most bog-like areas are because the snow was still lying on the ground and disappearing off into the forest in little trails. A fantastic morning for a walk.


Posted by Janis.

Hi You had a busy summer, I see! Very interesting to read about the parklife. You did hard work...! Through the volonteering in the Richmond Nature Park my eyes are opened wide in my country too.... Please say hallo to all we know. Yours Lea
Lea Hafner
September 26,2020

Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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