Online Silent Auction December 1st – 14th

We invite you to participate on December 1st – 14th in our online silent auction.

The purpose of this fundraising event is to generate funds to improve our facilities and be able to provide more opprtunities for the public to participate in nature centre activities. With 6,000 visitors each year, the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is a popular attraction for young children, students, tourists, and local residents. We are run by a team of generous and talented volunteers, and we depend on donations from individuals and businesses to run our programs and keep our doors open. We can’t do it without you!

Your bids will go towards supporting:

  • Hands-on nature education school programs for children and youth
  • Local environmental education on our watersheds, ocean ecosystems, water quality, conservation, and other important issues
  • Citizen science monitoring programs
  • Community outreach and hands-on restoration work

With your help the Nature Centre will continue to showcase and conserve our estuary, a local environmental treasure. You will be supporting a special place for friends, family, and visitors to our community to enjoy and learn about the natural world.

Please follow this link to the silent auction: https://www.32auctions.com/CENC

Ecological Restoration Summer CAMP – Aug 8th -12th

Our Ecological Restoration Camp this August 8th to 12th is specifically geared for youth ages 10-12 who are eager to take their love of and curiosity about nature and turn it into positive hands-on action in the world.

Participants in this camp will get a chance to learn about the Koksilah watershed and the challenges it currently and historically has faced such as drought, invasive species, logging, and excessive harvesting of groundwater, and what the community is doing to address them. They will learn about and engage in removing invasive species to improve the health of the ecosystem, as well as learn about native plant species in the area and how we can support their growth. The days will be a balance of activities such as nature walks, art and satisfying hands-on invasive species removal. Our goal is to nurture the growth of the relationship between campers and the environment while participating in learning and light restoration activities. Each day will center around a different element of the watershed: the river, the animals, the understory vegetation, the trees, and the community.

Location: We are delighted to be hosted by the Cowichan Station HUB for this camp. All camp programs will be run out of the Hub Facility and Grounds.

Hours: Camps run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm – please bring your own lunch

COVID UPDATE: We will be monitoring current PHO guidelines and post up to date Summer Camp policies so you can rest assured your camper will have a safe and fun experience with our team.

Details and Fees

Camp fees are $240 per child for a total of five days. Single Day Attendance: $45 per day per child. Single Day Attendance during week-long camps may be available if the camp is not fully booked and depending on health and safety protocols.

We are proud to offer access to two bursary funds for camp fees this year.

Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society has set up a camp fee bursary in honour of the late Eric Marshall who volunteered and dedicated himself to nature education in the marine environment. To apply for this bursary please download our application here: Eric Marshall CVNS Bursary Application 2022.

The Nature Centre also has its own bursary fund set up to fully or partially fund our camp fees for 2022. To apply for this bursary please download our application form here: CENC Camp Bursary Application 2022 .  Bursary applications may be submitted with Registration documents (found below) to restoraiton@cowichanestuary.ca.

All Camps run from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  You may drop off your child between 8:45 am and 9 am.

As our camp leaders are busy setting up for the day, we cannot offer early drop off or late pick up. Parents will be charged late fees for not adhering to drop off and pick up times.

For children with special needs, contact restoration@cowichanestuary.ca to discuss possible accommodations.

Our staff are working hard to ensure the safety of all of our campers during Covid-19. You’ll find more details on how we will will work with you as parents to support your child to have a safe, health camping experience in our Covid 19 Parent Guide.

 

How to Register

Registration will go “live” in May so stay tuned!

Registration is a two-step process:

  1.  Go to Eventbrite, select a camp, sign up, and make payment. (Each camp is also linked above in the camp schedule to Eventbrite). Payment can be through a credit card on Eventbrite or cash/cheque mailed to or dropped off at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.
  2.  Download and complete a camp Registration/Medical form linked below:

IMPORTANT: Your registration is not considered complete until we have received the medical information and waiver forms. Payment and forms must be received at least 2 weeks prior to camp start date or your registration will be forfeited.

CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS:  If a camp is cancelled due to Covid-19 provincial health requirements, all camp fees will be fully refunded to affected families.   

Families withdrawing a child’s registration within the two week period prior to the camp offering will be charged an administrative fee. If a camper withdraws during camp, they will be charged for days attended plus an administrative fee unless the withdrawal is illness-related.

Questions?  Contact restoration@cowichanestuary.ca. Or phone:  250-597-2288

Restoration at Jack Fleetwood Memorial Park this TUESDAY – Postponed Due to Site Flooding – Stay Tuned!

Restoration at Jack Fleetwood Memorial Park this TUESDAY – Postponed Due to Site Flooding – Stay Tuned!

Postponed AGAIN Due to Site Flooding – Stay Tuned!

Looking for something to do this Wednesday morning?

Join CVRD Parks & Trails and the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre to remove Himalayan blackberry from Jack Fleetwood Memorial Park on the beautiful Koksilah River! This will help to make way for the native species that grow in the area and prepare the site for school groups who will be coming out to the park later to take part in experiential learning events hosted by the Nature Centre.

Date: Tuesday April 5, 2022

Time: 10:00-1:00 PM

Location: Jack Fleetwood Memorial Park

Task: Himalayan blackberry removal

Accessibility and Safety: The work site is accessible by stairs and is partially on a slope. There is no washroom facility at this park. Sturdy closed-toe shoes, long pants and long sleeves are required. Please dress for the weather as the event will go on as long as conditions remain safe and workable. Safety glasses, gloves and tools will be provided but please feel free to bring your own.

The safety of volunteers and staff is our priority. Face masks will be worn during this event when appropriate physical distancing is not possible. Each person in attendance must self-assess prior to the event to ensure that they have no cold or flu-like symptoms before attending the event.

Sign-up: Please sign up for this event through your volunteer account by clicking here. Prior sign-up is required for this event as space is limited. Please be in touch if you’d like to sign up by phone or email instead.

We hope you can join us!

 

We are hiring Summer Camp Leaders!

We are hiring a Summer Camp coordinator and 2 Camp Leaders for our upcoming summer season 2022 and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to be part of this amazing team!

Click here to find our Summer Camp Coordinator Job Description

Click here to find our Summer Camp Leader (35hrs/wk) Job Description

Click here to find our Summer Camp Leader (25hrs/wk) Job Description

How to Apply:  Please submit a cover letter and resume by April 20th via email, mail or in person to:

Amy Clinton-Baker

Coordinator
Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

Box 5 Cowichan Bay Rd
Cowichan Bay, BC V0R 1N0

Email: amy@cowichanestuary.ca

IMPORTANT NOTE: Positions are contingent on Canada Summer Jobs funding and may change in response public health directives on group activities related to Covid 19.  This may affect employment contracts. 

Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre thanks all applicants for their interest.

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  Job interviews may be conducted online via Zoom.

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We are hiring contract educators for fall & spring school programs!

We are hiring contract educators for fall & spring school programs!

Are you an educator or energetic retired educator interested in working with children in grades K-9? We are looking for inspiring nature educators to join our team and bring the Cowichan Estuary to life for school groups in K-9  at our Centre on the shores of the Cowichan Estuary this fall! Join us and get a chance to delve into an amazing community doing great work here in the Cowichan Valley. Our educators also can co-lead restoration programming for high school groups working with our Watershed Restoration Program lead.

Job Title: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Educator

Term: Contract position with flexible term 

Hours:  dependent on school bookings and restoration programming, typically 2 – 4 hrs weekday mornings.

Position Overview:.

As a Nature Centre educator you would lead or co-lead (dependent on class sizes) 1hr – 1.5hour nature and ecology programs for learners predominantly in Grades K-9. Our programs focus on hands-on experiential learning, include time outside in nature and covers topics such as: estuary wildlife, watershed health, climate change, environmental science, nature conservation, biology, etc., and may include social studies and historical content. At low tide activities may include mud digs, micro-plastic surveys and beach seines in the intertidal zone to explore resident sea life.

For the full job description click Nature Educator Position Description 2022

How to Apply: 

Email your resume and references to admin@cowichanestuary.ca with subject heading: Nature Centre Educator 2022-23

We thank all those who apply for their interest in our organization!

Paid Youth Internship – Spring Break – Apply NOW

We are so excited to invite youth aged 15 to 20 to apply for a paid restoration internship this Spring Break!

From March 21st to 25th at Bright Angel Park, youth will gain valuable work experience in ecological restoration techniques that will help propel them into employment fields such as Environmental Sciences, Biology, and Ecology. Each 5-hour day will be a mix of invasive species removal, native species planting, and daily Lunch-and-Learns where they will be mentored by local experts.

Position: Restoration Intern
Organization: Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre
Location: Bright Angel Park

Compensation: $18/hr

Hours: 9:00am-2:00pm (27 hrs total)

Position Type: Temporary, March 21st to 25th, 2022 (with paid 2hr orientation Friday, March 18th)

Application Deadline: March 11, 2022

Skills gained:

  • Invasive species identification and removal techniques
  • Native species identification and planting procedures
  • Ecological restoration techniques and theory
  • Daily Lunch-and-Learn workshops from local experts
  • Restoration monitoring and surveying skills
  • Valuable work experience to help propel you into a related field

Skills/Qualifications needed:

  • Enthusiasm for environmental restoration
  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to perform physical duties of the job in all outdoor weather conditions
  • Leadership skills
  • Excitement to learn
  • Youth aged 15-20

What you’ll bring

  • Snacks/Lunch for the day
  • Your all weather clothing

To Apply:

Email us your resume to restoration@cowichanestuary.ca by March 11th, 2022

Big Huy ch q’u (Thank you) to our collaborator, Cowichan Watershed Board and partners.

Coastal Waterbird Survey – Feb 13th 10am

What: Coastal Waterbird Survey

When: Sunday Feb 13th 10-11am

Where: Meet at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre car park in Cowichan Bay

Organised by the local Cowichan Valley Naturalists this is a Citizen Science project for Birds Canada. An hour of counting the birds that use the estuary happens every month from September to May at high tide. Contact cvns@naturecowichan.net for more information.

New Birders welcome!

Volunteer of the year 2021!

We are honoured to present the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award to Roger Southern!

Roger is part of our volunteer team who keeps our Nature Centre maintained in a myriad of ways. He unfailingly comes to the rescue to fix, mend, build and paint anything and everything including doors, sheds, locks, cabinets, heaters you name it! Always with a sense of humour and good cheer which we appreciate to no end.  Thank you Roger! From all our team – we are grateful for all the big and small ways you have kept this place looking great and running smoothly.

Volunteers zoom fabulous kids workshop to Family Medical Conference

Local physician Dr. Katharine Bell invited the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre to be part of a Canada Wide College of Family Physicians Family Medical Conference this November which was zoomed over the airwaves from Ontario! The Nature Centre joined a group of organizations including the Toronto Zoo as part of their family-zone entertaining children while their parents attended important medical lectures.

We are so grateful to our incredible team; Kerrie Talbot (Storytime host), Jim Wisnia (MC and sing-a-long host) and Lyn Wisnia (puppet-master) and Madeline (technical wizard and touch tank show-and-tell host)! Together, they put on a fabulous show for the kids including a magical journey through the estuary using songs, a puppet show of local critters and a wonderful touch-tank show-and-tell with Madeline. Some of our audience members may never have seen a live hermit crab or been to our coast and feedback from the FMF organizers has been lovely saying:

“We appreciate all the hard work and time spent making this component of FMF a great success! The storytelling, sing-a-long and exploring of the touch tank created a lot a buzz among the attendees.”

Great work team!

 

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