Thursday, September 30, 2010

Eco-Forum Information

The Nature Centre/Red Deer River Naturalists Eco-forum for the Mayoral and Council candidates has been confirmed for October 13, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame Highschool.

In order to have people prepped (both the candidates and the citizens) for what will be a unique evening, we are making a package available to anyone who wants it. The package contains an itinerary, plan for the forum and topic themes that will be on the table for discussion. Click here to to go to the "What's New" page on our website, where you will find the package download.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Tools, to Serve You Better

We just took delivery of four new Discovery Carts. These carts were custom-made by the Central Alberta Woodworkers Guild. Each cart will have a theme and will hold props, games and activities relating to theme.

Each weekend interpreters will set up one or more carts in the Discovery Room. You'll be able to self-guide you and your kids through the activities, take activity packs outside or, have an interpreter lead you through some natural history. At the end of the weekend, the carts will roll under the counter in the Discovery Room; leaving the room clear for Nature Nursery.

Our thanks to Chuck, Denis and Guy for their hard work in building the carts, and to Kaley for her great design.

Watch for the carts to begin duty, this fall in the Discovery Room at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Add your voice to the Municipal Election

The Red Deer Municipal Election is October 18, 2010. In order to give the Mayoral and Council candidates a chance to address the environmental concerns of the citizens of Red Deer, the Kerry Wood Nature Centre and the Red Deer River Naturalists are co-presenting an all-candidates forum on the environment.

The forum will be held Wednesday, October 13 from 7:00 pm – 9:30pm, in the gathering area at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame Highschool.

In advance of the forum, we want to hear from you. If you have an environment-themed question you'd like to ask the candidates, please email it to

The questions will be grouped by theme and then from the submissions, five will be chosen and sent to the candidates ahead of the forum. On the evening of the forum, the candidates will select (in a blind draw) one of the five questions to answer.

There will be questions from the floor as the last part of the forum.

All questions must be submitted by Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 5:00 pm.

If you have any questions about the forum, please phone the Nature Centre at 403-346-2010 x106.


Never underestimate the power of a potted plant...

With today's emphasis on reducing packaging waste, 100-mile diets, supporting local food producers and such, it's easy to think that bringing your own bags to the Farmer's Market or looking for local labels at the grocery store is the only way to go. Not true, my friends. Local food can be closer than you think: it's in your own backyard, literally.

If you have a green thumb, or even if you don't, container gardening is a convenient, easy way to bring local food home. With just a few pots, some seeds or starter plants and a little TLC you can have fresh, organic veggies at your doorstep and on your table with a minimum of work. In our effort to lead by example, and with the blessing of the powers that be, we here at the Nature Centre decided to see what could be grown in a too-overgrown-and-awkward-for-a-proper-garden space.

In our 6 x 9 feet of "useable" space, we put in a 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 foot raised bed and three tire planters. Two of the tires wound up not being planted due to time constraints, the third had both a zucchini and pole beans in it. In our raised bed, we had a salad garden. We planted 2 tomato plants, radishes, multiplier onions, basil, carrots and lettuce. The garden was largely neglected, due to summer being one of our busiest seasons, but it held it's own. The basil was large and smelled fantastic, the tomatoes put out lots of blooms (but unfortunately, not many tomatoes as was the case for a lot of gardens this year), the radishes worked to protect the carrots and lettuce and the onions were crisp and spicy. The zucchini and pole beans grew very large, very fast, then put out flowers and left it at that. (I had the same thing happen in my garden this year- lots of zucchini flowers but no zucchini squash. Strange.)

We had a bountiful harvest out of this little garden despite this year's awkward growing season. Take a look at the pictures- they speak for themselves. Everything but the carrots has been harvested now that the frost has come and it's time for the garden to rest. I'm already looking forward to next year.