Each calendar year, we spend the last couple of months taking a look at just how much we have accomplished. It is always so amazing just how much our communities come together to support each other and our environment. We’d like to take this opportunity to share about our programs and their results from 2022!
Camp Odyssey offers weeklong day camps and single-day camps throughout July and August in both Kimberley and Cranbrook. This is a great opportunity to engage children outdoors in a safe, structured, and fun environment.
In 2022, we were successful in hosting a larger number of children by splitting our program into two age groups, Happy Hikers and Nearby Naturalists, as well as employing 3 additional educators. In 2023, we hope to increase attendance in Cranbrook and streamline the registration process to make the program more easily accessible for all.
The McGinty Lake Interpretive Forest and wetland ecosystems offer fantastic wetland education for primary students in Kimberley in both the Spring and Fall Seasons. Through grade-specific programs linked to learning outcomes in BC’s New Curriculum, and a variety of interactive teaching methods including props, games, and local examples, we seek to foster a curiosity in nature. Students develop a deeper respect for and understanding of our natural places, working towards a long-term increase in environmental stewardship.
In 2022, we were thankful for the return of normalcy in both bus schedules and procedures but found the new rules and processes surrounding field trip requirements (ie. adult to student ratios) to be limiting in carrying out as many field trips as we would have liked. In 2023, we hope to find a solution to the field trip requirements to make sure we are hosting as many education days as possible!
The East Kootenays is home to many fruit trees. When the fruit is left to fall off the tree and rot, it attracts local wildlife – including deer and bears. The Apple Capture program is here to help you keep up with your fruit harvest or to share it with someone who can use it. Together, we can turn a wildlife attractant into locally sourced, nutritious food.
In 2022, we hosted 18 events with a total of 318 participants and made more than 220L of apple juice! In 2023, we hope to increase the attendance of our Cranbrook picking events as well as stock the Cranbrook ToolShare shed with a few extra items.
As part of greater recovery efforts on Mark Creek, Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook established the Marysville Eco Park in 2004. Once a gravel parking lot serving the Marysville Falls, Wildsight partnered with the City of Kimberley to excavate and restore the streambank, and to establish native tree, shrub, and herbaceous plant species on the site.
In 2022, we were delighted to help the City of Kimberley secure a grant to install an Electric Vehicle Charging station at the park and enjoy time connecting with those who attended the clean-up events. In 2023, we will continue to connect with the City of Kimberley to discuss long-term goals and visions for the park.
At Spooner Park, we focus on mitigating the growth of invasive species and preserving the riparian area on the Joseph Creek shoreline. The park is also conveniently situated by Mount Baker Secondary School, offering students the opportunity to learn about water science including stream ecology & watersheds, water monitoring methods, and planting vegetation.
In 2022, the cold, wet spring lent itself to an odd growing season in which we ended up removing a record amount of invasive species, in particular, Burdock. Unfortunately, this meant we did not get to plant as much new vegetation as in the past. In 2023, we are looking at engaging the Cranbrook community more heavily with some Spring clean-up events alongside other community partners.
We are thrilled to be on this growing journey with our partners, the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery team, to increase the capacity for food distribution in Kimberley. The ultimate purpose of the project is to raise the bar on food security issues and continue growing sustainable food from the ground up.
In 2022, we were able to triple the number of backyard growing spaces to 15 locations and donate 200lbs of produce to the Kimberley Food Recovery Depot. In 2023, we would like to engage more volunteers and perhaps find a way to mitigate the pesky deer.
The Kimberley Community Garden is a demonstration garden designed to share the knowledge and skills needed to empower you to grow food in your own backyard.
In 2022, the season had a bit of a slow start due to the cold, damp spring, but in the long run, the garden flourished. We saw an abundance of harvesting in the garden leaving only a total of 50lbs available to donate for the duration of the season. In 2023, we plan to continue improvements to the beds and planting locations as well as consider further wildlife mitigation.
The Kimberley Farmers’ Market began in 2014 in response to the community’s desire for direct access to locally harvested and sustainable food. The market is a venue for small-scale farmers and specialty food producers to market their wares, and nourishes the community through a vibrant and inclusive marketplace.
In 2022, we were able to streamline many processes and were elated to host our first Winter Market. In 2023, we hope to streamline processes even further and in turn have a regular volunteer schedule available to ensure consistent roles.
As you can see, we’ve had quite the reach with each of our projects, and year after year they continue to grow in varying ways of success. All of this being said, at the end of the day we know we can’t achieve this impact without each and every one of volunteering your time, knowledge, and – in some cases – backyards! Thank you for supporting us throughout our 2022 season, we can’t wait to see what we’ll incredible efforts we’ll carry out together in 2023.
Did any of these projects speak to you? We’d love to have a new set of eyes on the ground to help inform, educate, and shape our way. Click here to learn more about volunteering with Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook.