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September 25, 2011
Farewell to summer

Summer was a busy season at Richmond Nature Park and we’re a bit behind on our blog so its time to catch up on our news.  Highlights of the season, in no particular order, include:

 

  • A variety of nature programs for children between the ages of 4 and 10. The programs were anything from half a day to 4 days in length.  Program topics included everything from A to Z – literally! If you challenge 20 children on a bus trip to come up with 4 different animals for each letter of the alphabet you will hear about everything under the sun.
  • Our summer leaders were excellent! They were (are!) talented, professional and fun and provided the children (see above) with wonderful summer memories. They weren’t here nearly long enough though and when we said goodbye to them at the end of August it was a bit like a balloon had burst – all that wonderful energy and enthusiasm went out the door with them. I’d like to thank Meagan and Greg for a very special summer and wish them well at university this term.
  • Summer wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of a marvellous group of volunteers. Most of our volunteers are youth from the Richmond area that want to give something to their community while gaining skills and work experience. We are truly blessed to attract such wonderful volunteers so I hope you’ll all join me in a great big “thank you” for their assistance.
  • The Blueberry Tea and Sale was a great success.  Our thanks to the BC Blueberry Council for the berries and ABC Country Restaurant for pies (lots and lots of scrumptiously juicy pies). 
  • There was a concert in the park this summer.  A first for us and something we’d like to repeat, as it was a lovely interlude for a summer’s eve.  Watch for it again next year and plan to bring a picnic dinner while you enjoy the music.
  • 7 sculptures were installed in the gardens around the entry deck at the visitor kiosk in August. These pieces, a set called “Green Symphony”, are a celebration of nature through the eyes of school children.  We hope you’ll enjoy them.
  • For the past few years we’ve hosted international student volunteers who come to Richmond for an opportunity to see a bit of Canada, practice their English and lend a hand where needed.  This year, 6 volunteers from France and Japan have helped us with conservation projects that keep invasive plants out of the bog. Thank you Clement, Laurent, Clementine, Mayu, Taiki and Yuki.  We are grateful for your help and for teaching us about your countries.

 

 

And so, on to fall: 

 

It felt like summer just a few days ago, and technically it is still summer for a couple more weeks, but all the signs of fall are here:  days are getting shorter, the summer birds have gone and the migrants are streaming through, and plants are getting ready for winter and the approaching new year - leaves are changing colour and their seeds are already set for spring.

 

If you’re reluctant to welcome autumn there’s still time to enjoy something that we usually associate with summer.  It’s hummingbirds. Rufous Hummingbirds nest in the Nature Park each summer and have become very popular with local birdwatchers and photographers.  They come in March, stay until August and by now are settling in to enjoy the sun in a semi-tropical forest somewhere.  But there are still hummingbirds to be seen. Anna’s Hummingbirds are known to over winter on the coast – possibly due to people who keep hummingbird feeders out year round. It would appear that we’ve caught the attention of a small group of these birds and are seeing them regularly at a feeder behind the Nature House.  They’re quite shy so we ask that you respect their space by staying several meters away from the feeder while you watch them.  By the way, we still have hummingbird feeders in the Nature House gift shop so you can buy one for your garden or as a gift for someone else.

 

Changes to the playground: 

 

The playground in the Nature Park is very popular but quite dated and due for a change.  Richmond Parks Department is about to start work on a Family Play Space that will feature new play structures and natural play features.  The play space will be larger than the existing play tower and will accommodate more children and a wider range of ages. It will also include improvements to the nearby pond to allow access for educational activities.  Work will begin the week of September 19 and continue, in stages, through 2012 and 2013.   Stay tuned – this is going to be awesome.

 

I saved the best news for last – our school programs are back!!

 

Our school programs were on hiatus last year as the RNPS addressed financial challenges common to many not-for-profit groups these days.  But we’ve got a new strategy and will be ready to take bookings by the end of September.  Please note that this is a new beginning for our school programs so they’ll be different than in previous years. Remember that those programs took years to perfect so we’ll appreciate your support while we finesse the new look. Teachers can call us on weekdays (604.718-6188) for more information or to put your name on a wait list.

 

Posted by Kristine Bauder, Nature Park Coordinator

 




Archives
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February 7,2012

I visited the park today with my wife and 3 young kids. We're very impressed and will be returning. I've featured the park on my blog - www.chrisronald.com Thanks, Chris
Chris Young
October 31,2010
Vancouver

Hi You had a busy summer, I see! Very interesting to read about the parklife. You did hard work...! Through the volonteering in the Richmond Nature Park my eyes are opened wide in my country too.... Please say hallo to all we know. Yours Lea
Lea Hafner
September 26,2008
Switzerland

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