The Great Blue Heron Hair-off Fundraiser

You may remember local teacher and environmentalist Jim Wisnia’s 2012 “Pony Up for the Point” campaign when he raised $7500 to help Sansum Point become a protected Regional Park. He had his ponytail cut off on Earth Day at the grand opening of the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. Well, Jim has been growing his hair since them and he is ready to have a radical hair-cut on behalf of the Estuary Nature Centre and wildlife habitat, with a special focus on our Pacific Great Blue Herons, the fannini subspecies that nest in the ravine near the Centre. Hear the story straight from Jim:

“I’m now conducting a two-month fundraising campaign for the Nature Centre in support of things I value highly: nature education, wildlife monitoring, habitat restoration, community-building, and programs for the advancement of youth.  

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is located on the shore of Cowichan Bay, a designated Important Bird Area where the Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers flow into the ocean.  It is a place where nature lovers meet and share stories.  Nature Centre staff and volunteers offer children marine and watershed science programs on class visits and day camps.  Drop-in visitors can learn from the saltwater touch tank, the juvenile salmon aquarium, the interactive watershed model, the videos of elders’ stories, the bird viewing tower, and the trail-side signs.  Immediately uphill from the Nature Centre is the largest Great Blue Heron nesting colony on Vancouver Island, nourished by the abundant life in the estuary. 

For a few years I’ve been letting my hair grow long.  I’m offering it up on Earth Day (April 22, the Nature Centre’s seventh anniversary) in the “Great Blue Heron Hair-off,” and I’m asking for your tax-deductible contribution to my campaign.  My goal is to raise $9000.  Depending on how much my campaign raises, it will help:

1-  Purchase a live-feed video camera for monitoring the heron nesting colony ($1500)

2-  Support a Restoration Biologist and a Youth Educator in mentoring and teaching a youth group in waterside habitat restoration in ($900)

3-  Bring 15 high-school-age youth to the 2019 Youth Leadership Training: Engagement for Healthy Watersheds ($1500)

4-  Support a day-long Whole Watershed Thinking workshop for youth ($1500)

5-  Bring five children from low-income families to a nature immersion summer science camp ($1100)

6-  Bring five classes from low-income neighbourhoods to the Centre’s nature immersion programming ($1000)

7-  Hire an educator to develop French language nature immersion programming ($1500)

Besides helping us learn more about our Great Blue Heron colony, donated funds will also provide youth scholarships, giving the next generation of leaders the big-picture context and the confidence to undertake hands-on restoration activities and to use their stories to connect with others around shared values, thus strengthening this conservation-minded community.

Donations can be made online at Canada Helps <https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/cowichan-community-land-trust-society/campaign/great-blue-hair-off/>  or send a cheque (noting Great Blue Hair-off) to:  Cowichan Community Land Trust, #6 – 55 Station Street, Duncan, BC  V9L 1M3.

Beer & Burger Fundraiser: Return of the Great Blue Heron – Feb 24, 5-8pm Cow Bay Pub… stay tuned

Return of the Great Blue Heron – Welcome back the Herons and
support The Work of The Cowichan Nature Centre, with an evening of songs, stories,
and memories about Herons – plus beer and burgers! And a special Heron Guest!!
We’re gearing up for a busy spring season of nature education and restoration and
need YOUR help.Join us for a Beer &amp; Burger fundraiser at the Cow Bay Pub featuring
great food, a silent auction, fantastic live music AND storytelling from local naturalists and nature lovers about our Return of The Great BlueHeron

Do you have a local heron story to share? It can be personal, epic or amusing, poem,
song or story – email alicia@cowichanestuary.ca before February 10th 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 here 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.

NEW Program! Sea Squirts: Stories & Activities 11:00-12:00pm Feb 7 – Mar 7,

The Nature Centre is so happy to announce our new nature program, funded in part by Our Cowichan Communities Health Network!

Sea Squirts is a FREE, drop-in nature program where parents and their pre-school aged children and infants can come together to connect with each other, learn about nature in fun and engaging ways, and support the development of early literacy skills.

Lead by our amazing, superstar Nature Centre volunteer Kerrie Talbot, a retired Early Childhood Educator and Library Assistant. It’s grounded in nature stories and learning with a strong social and emotional health component.

Hope to see you there!

Happy B’Earth Day at the Nature Centre!

Did you know that this Earth Day (April 22) the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre will be turning 6 years old?! To mark this occasion, we are having a Spring benefit concert, “Sounds of Springtime” by the Camerata String Orchestra at 7pm at Sylvan United Church. Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door. Kids under 12 are FREE! Tickets available online here or at the Nature Centre during open hours (or contact me directly). Poster attached.

Earlier that day, from 12pm-3pm, we’re hosting a “6th B’Earth Day Party” at the Nature Centre, complete with FREE cake, nature activities for kids, and music from the Muddy Buddies! Schedule for the music etc to be posted on our website shortly.

I sincerely hope that you are able to join us in some way on April 22nd to mark 6 years of nature education, stewardship, and community through the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre. Although I’ve only been a part of this community since the Fall, I’ve seen how hard everybody works together for nature, and I think celebrating that hard work is important! With cake!

The Work that Reconnects – Renew, Re-engage & Reconnect to Life – A Transformative Process for Difficult Times – Feb 10th-11th

The Work that Reconnects – Renew, Re-engage & Reconnect to Life – A Transformative Process for Difficult Times – Feb 10th-11th

A “Work that Reconnects” Retreat – Feb 10th -11th, 2018 at Providence Farm

Weekend Workshop/Retreat Feb 10-11th, 9–5 pm, Providence Farm (on the traditional and unceded territory of the Quw’utsun People), St. Anne’s Building.

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre and Transition Cowichan and are pleased to bring Jackie Larkin and Maggie Ziegler back to the Cowichan Valley to lead a two-day “Work That Reconnects – Reconnecting to Life” Retreat February 10th – 11th.  Maggie and Jackie – educators, activists and facilitators who trained with eco-Buddhist philosopher Joanna Macy — have co-facilitated this experiential process for over sixteen years.

Rooted in a pioneering form of group work developed by Joanna Macy, this workshop/retreat will integrate a wide range of ideas and experiential processes, as well as time in nature. Participants will be supported to engage heart, mind and spirit in the task of renewing our connection to ourselves, our community and all life on earth.  “The Work that Reconnects” emerges from the historical movements for social justice and for environmental sustainability as well as from spiritual traditions that honour the earth as sacred. It draws on the ideas and processes of deep ecology, systems theory and modern science.

If you’ve been overwhelmed by the unraveling of our world over the past year (..or years) – the climate crisis, environmental destruction, species extinction, violent conflict, increasing inequality  – this is a time for connection and renewal. Through experiencing our full range of feelings about our planetary crisis and deepening our understanding about our connection to all life, we can find courage and resilience to support ourselves and each other through these challenging times – and find meaningful and nourishing ways to continue to engage in the work that is needed.

We hope you will join us.

This two-day non-residential retreat on Feb 10th-11th is $140 per person. Some partial bursaries (up to 50%) are available.  Space is limited so registration is required. We ask that participants bring their lunches. Coffee, tea and healthy snacks will be provided. For information and registration contact: info@transitioncowichan.org.

If you need a place to stay in the Cowichan Valley, billeting can be arranged.

For more information about Jackie and Maggie and their work see: www.reconnectingtolife.org

“The Wisdom to Survive” – Film & Discussion – Thurs, Jan 18th, 7pm

Join us on Thursday January 18th at 7pm at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre in Cowichan Bay to watch and discuss this film on climate change and adaptation.
It asks the thought provoking question “Will we have the wisdom to survive?”

The film features breath-taking photography and inspiring activists and thought leaders from science, economics and spirituality, including eco-philosopher Joanna Macy who developed “The Work that Reconnects” – a pioneering form of group work that engages heart, mind and spirit in such questions.

This moving film sets the stage to discuss how we can take action, locally and globally in the face of climate disruption, while also opening ourselves to connecting with each other and the beauty that surrounds us.

Admission by donation to support the work of both the Nature Centre & Transition Cowichan.

Movie Night: “Christmas in Yellowstone” – Dec 28th, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Movie Night: “Christmas in Yellowstone” – Dec 28th, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

On Thursday December 28th, join us for a festive late afternoon/ early evening at the Nature Centre for the documentary ‘Christmas at Yellowstone’, which follows in the snowy footprints of Yellowstone’s red foxes, spies on the predatory warfare of wolves and elk, and climbs into the den of a grizzly bear that gives birth to two cubs while deep in hibernation.
This event is family-friendly and BYOP: Bring Your Own Popcorn!

Admission by donation. Children free! All donations support our ongoing environmental education and stewardship work!

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/christmas-in-yellowstone-introduction/4292/