Grateful for time spent with Volunteers

Grateful for time spent with Volunteers

So lovely to spend time with our wonderful volunteers at the Nature Centre yesterday. And a big thanks to Island Poultry for their donation of delicious sausages.

If you didn’t make it out and want to know about our volunteer opportunities coming up check out:


And a few spots left in our salt marsh restoration project August 30th 9-12pm. Email to sign up.

Nature Interpreter/Centre Volunteer

Welcome. Experience. Explore. Delight

What: The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre welcomes thousands of visitors every year. From repeat families, to travelers from afar, all are welcomed into the space to explore their curiosity and questions of the estuary and its inhabitants.

Who: Open to youth (16+) and adults (a child or grandchild is welcome to accompany) who have a love for nature, and a desire to share. No nature interpretation experience necessary, just a desire to learn and share.

We offer two roles in the nature centre:

  1. Nature Centre Interpreter: Opens and closes the nature centre (Cash/debit transactions, sets up float, Opens/closes building)
  2. Secondary Nature Interpreter: Welcomes visitors to the space, can guide nature walks, set up bird tower, run activities as wanted/needed

Length of volunteer shift: 2 hours + 10 mins for open/close (Nature Centre Interpreter role only). Shifts are split from 12-2 & 2-4

Volunteer commitment: The nature centre is open from 12-4 Thursday – Sunday  and every holiday Monday. We ask that volunteers sign up as a:

  • Regular volunteer – committing to a regular shift (once a week, biweekly, or once a month)
  • Or Flex volunteer – filling in gaps as regular volunteers are away

Booking shifts: Shifts are schedule at least one month in advance (often times every couple months).

Interested: email or call 250.597.2288


Restoration Volunteer – Ages 10 +

Renew. Give. Deepen. Share

What: The estuary is a gift and its health is a vital piece of our ecosystem. Every year we work with partnering organizations on restoration projects of the estuary and riparian zones up stream

Who: We are looking for youth (Age 10+) and adults who enjoy getting their hands dirty, love community projects and co-creating a lasting impact. Note this volunteer opportunity is open to school groups

Length of volunteer shift: 2.5 hours (Restoration projects include a 15 minute intro/education, 2 hour restoration work, and 15 minute wrap up and reflection)

Volunteer commitment: Restoration projects occur year round, and most often in the spring or fall but sometimes in the summer.

Booking shifts: Restoration projects are are scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Volunteers can sign up for as few or as many shifts as they like.

Interested: email or call 250.597.2288


School Program Volunteer

Educate. Play. Explore. Share

What: Every year we hosts hundreds of school children at the Nature Centre, and in Hecate Park, guiding them to explore the shore to sea. Our 1.5 hour programs are lead by our amazing Educators, and supporting by our School Program Volunteers.

Who: We are looking for adults with a delight in the outdoors, an interest in sharing nature, and a love for supporting kids/youth learn.

Length of volunteer shift: 2 hours (program runs 1.5 hours, volunteers arrive 15 minutes early and 15 minutes post to help with set up/clean up

Volunteer commitment: School program season runs from September – November and March – June. We ask that volunteers sign up for a fall or spring season.

Booking shifts: Shifts are schedule at least one week in advance (often times one month). Volunteers can sign up for as few or as many shifts as they like.

Interested: email or call 250.597.2288



Water use restricted on Koksilah River to protect fish populations

“The Province is restricting water use by select users on the Koksilah River to protect fish populations, which are under threat due to low water flows in the river.

The Koksilah River is located south of Duncan on Vancouver Island and supports significant aquatic ecosystems and fish species, including steelhead, coho salmon and trout. These fish populations are important to local First Nations and provide economic benefits.

Ministry biologists have determined that current flow levels are so low that habitat conditions are severely degraded and fish populations may be threatened. The flow of water in the Koksilah River has dropped below 180 litres per second (less than 2% of mean annual discharge) and may be trending downward.

From now until Sept. 30, 2019, specified licences that authorize water use directly from the Koksilah River and its tributaries, and users of wells in aquifers that are hydraulically connected to the river, must cease all diversion and use of water for industrial purposes and for irrigation of forage crops, such as hay and corn.

Ministry staff will be conducting compliance checks in the Koksilah River watershed for the duration of the fish population protection order.

By restricting water use for irrigation of forage crops, such as hay and corn, but allowing water use for stock watering and irrigation of perennial crops and vegetables, water flows should be restored to a level sufficient to maintain fish populations while minimizing effects on users, such as the agricultural sector.

Steps toward developing a water sustainability plan for the Koksilah River watershed are being taken, which is anticipated to help with overall water management in the area. In the event water flows recover to above 180 litres per second on a sustained basis following any significant precipitation events, the Province may revoke the order.”



Celebrating Water – Beer And Burger Fundraiser at Cow Bay Pub

Celebrating WATER- Rejoice together in the gift of Water and support The Work of The Cowichan Nature Centre, with an evening of songs, stories, and memories about Water- plus beer and burgers!

We’re gearing up for a busy fall season of nature education and restoration and need YOUR help.

Join us for a Beer & Burger fundraiser at the Cow Bay Pub featuring great food, a silent auction, fantastic live music from Paul Ruszel AND storytelling from local naturalists and nature lovers all in Celebration of WATER

Do you have a local Water story to share? It can be personal, epic or amusing, poem, song or story – email before September 20th and be included in the storytelling circle.

Don’t miss our silent auction featuring local art, gift certificates from local businesses, and more.

Tickets includes a burger (chicken, beef, or veggie), side of fries or salad, and a drink (domestic beer, wine, or cider).

$25 per ticket, available online, or at Volume One Books, the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre (1845 Cowichan Bay Road).

An evening of stories, music, a silent auction, and delicious food – all for a good cause! Hope to see you there!

All proceeds will support local nature education and restoration at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.

Youth Permaculture Volunteer Opportunity! Starts this August

Participate in a Permaculture Water Audit, of a local garden/hobby farm.
Interested in permaculture, or learning how to conserve water? We need YOUTH volunteers to join local Permaculture leaders Jason Greenwood, and Sierra Robinson, on a 2 hour water audit of local gardens/hobby farms.

  • August 10th, 9:30, 11:30,or 2:00pm,
  • August 16th 4:00pm
  • August 19th 4:00pm
  • August 26th, 4:00 pm or 6:30 pm
What: We are looking for a note taker & a photographer
Transportation: Requires own transportation to the sites (if going to multiple audits in a day, we can arrange travel between audits)

Volunteer commitment: 2 hours (can come to more than one)

Volunteer Open House BBQ!

Volunteer Open House BBQ!

This August 21st we are having an Open House BBQ for past, present and potential Volunteers. 

Ever considered helping guide students as they explore the shorelines, hand out binoculars to community members so they can watch Osprey nesting, participate in watershed restoration projects? Well, this August might be your chance to learn more about how to get started.

Invite is by RSVP, if you are interested in joining us for a Volunteer BBQ and learning about volunteering at the Nature Centre, email for details. 

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