Water Conservation in the Koksilah Watershed – Responding to Climate Disruption

Salvaging salmon fry in the Koksilah River. (photo Genevieve Singleton)

On July 17th, the Nature Centre is partnering with the Cowichan Watershed Board to host an evening on Water Conservation in the increasingly drought challenged Koksilah Watershed. Join us for a solutions-focused community conversation from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Hub in Cowichan Station.

Sierra Robinson, Permaculture Teacher

Speakers Tom Rutherford, fish biologist and Watershed Board Executive Director, and David Slade, Watershed Board member and former President of the BC Groundwater Association, will be joined by 17-year old Sierra Robinson, permaculture teacher, farmer, film-maker and crew-lead for the Cowichan Valley Earth Guardians. Together they will talk about the severe drought conditions in the watershed, the ongoing challenge of climate change and real, on-the-ground water conservation solutions.

“Water conservation is everybody’s responsibility,” says Rutherford, “While it’s easy to point fingers at the big agricultural users, we all have to step up.  We can all be better water stewards.”

A world-café style community conversation will follow the presentations to give residents a chance to share what water conservation efforts are working, what is worth trying and what kind of support is needed to better address the growing water challenges in the Koksilah.

During the evening local gardeners and hobby farmers in the Koksilah Watershed will also have a chance to apply to win one of six free permaculture water conservation garden audits on their property. These will be conducted by local permaculturists Jason Greenwood and Sierra Robinson in August. Those householders participating in garden audits will receive a report with specific water conservation recommendations for their property.

Permaculture is an ecological approach to gardening and food production and one of its most exciting aspects is its approach to water. Permaculture designers use landscape design to conserve and store water while building topsoil. Some permaculture projects have been so successful that they even recharge groundwater supplies.

One of the gardens selected for an audit will also be chosen for a Permaculture Blitz implementing water conservation solutions. This includes both design support from our permaculture experts and a day of hands-on help from a team of young volunteers to work on a water conservation garden transformation this fall.  The team will bring tools and willing hands. The property owner will cover the hard costs, such as the purchase of trees or shrubs.

 

Click HERE to enter to Win A Permaculture Water Conservation Audit

 

July 25/26th LakeKeepers Workshop – Buy your tickets soon!

The wonderful Cowichan Land Trust is hosting a LakeKeepers Workshop
Together with the British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) and the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society, The Cowichan Land Trust is running a two-day LakeKeepers workshop for citizens to learn how to care for, monitor, and manage our beautiful BC lakes.
Facilitated by Dr. Rick Nordin of BCLSS, this workshop will take place on July 25th from 9-4pm and July 26th from 9-noon at the Duncan Community Lodge on Quamichan Lake.
Check out the poster below for more info on the lessons and information covered in the course!
It is available to everyone 14+, and is free for students and $25 for adults.

July 17th 6-9pm: Water Conservation in the Koksilah Watershed, a Community Conversation @ the HUB – free

 

SAVE THE DATE: July 17th 6-9pm

Join us for an evening on Water Conservation in the Koksilah Watershed –
 Responding to our Changing Climate: A Community Conversation at the HUB in Cowichan Station

With speakers David Slade & Tom Rutherford from the Cowichan Watershed Board, and 16 year-old Sierra Robinson, permaculture teacher

AND a chance for Gardeners  and Hobby Farmers in the Koksilah Watershed to apply to have a permaculture water conservation garden audit on their property and win a one-day permaculture water conservation garden Perma-Blitz transformation.  

July 2nd – Natural Leaders – Youth Leadership Training

2019 Youth Leadership and Team Building Training

On Tuesday, July 2nd, we will be hosting our annual Youth Leadership and Team Building Training for youth ages 14-18. Training will take place at the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre from 9-4pm. Lunch is included. The cost is $25-$45 (sliding scale).

This day-long interactive workshop for budding change-makers will provide lots of opportunities to learn and practice leadership and team building skills. Our focus this year is “engagement for healthy watersheds and climate action.” The day will include First Nations perspectives and stories from elders. There will be opportunities to explore and practice group leadership and team-building skills in a natural setting. Our facilitation team includes Laura Cuthbert from Organize BC and Kim Lagimodiere, Cowichan Watershed Board educator and Cowichan Tribes biologist.  It’s going to be an amazing interactive day.

There will also be pre and post-workshop opportunities to put leadership and team building skills into action on water conservation and watershed restoration projects in the Cowichan and Koksilah Watershed.

How to Register

If you would like to pay $45 on the sliding scale, you can pay online through Eventbrite (to choose another amount on the sliding scale or ask for a bursary, see below):

  • Please indicate your preferred payment method on the application form below and email the completed form to Karlie at camps@cowichanestuary.ca, drop it off in person at the Nature Centre, or mail it to:                     Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, Box 5

    Cowichan Bay, British Columbia, Canada V0R 1N0

  • You can pay online here through the Eventbrite page  or pay in person at the Nature Centre by debit or cash, or by cheque made payable to Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.
  • Eventbrite doesn’t offer a sliding scale option, so to pay less that $45 on the sliding scale you’ll need to mail your application or come into the Centre to register (or ask us about an e-transfer).

If you would like to apply for a bursary it’s easy:

  • Please check “yes” when you fill out the application form below to apply for a bursary. Tell us in a sentence or two why a bursary would be helpful to you.  We want this workshop to be accessible, so please ask, and get your application to us as described above!!

Application Form: Youth Leadership Training Application

We are hiring! Summer Camp Leader – extended deadline June 5th

Spend a summer immersed in nature on the shorelines of the inspiring Cowichan Estuary located in Cowichan Bay, BC.

Science and Nature Summer Camp Leader – extended deadline – June 5th, 2019

Summer break is special, and the next best thing to being a summer camp attendee is being a summer camp leader. Envision your days immersed in nature, play and discovery. Gather your love and knowledge of the sea and science and build on your skills of sharing, facilitating and children development. We have two 10 week positions ready for 2 youth (age 15-30) keen to take their appreciation for the natural world and awareness of how to lead and support others to the next level.

Detailed job description and application process

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!

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