Friday, December 19, 2014

We're Hiring

Kerry Wood Nature Centre

Open Competition:
Visitor Services Staff

The Waskasoo Environmental Education Society, a non-profit charitable society which operates the Waskasoo Park Interpretive Program on contract for The City of Red Deer, has one or two part-time positions available for the coming summer for Information Attendants.

Based at Red Deer's Kerry Wood Nature Centre, the successful applicant(s) will provide natural history and tourist information to the general public and deliver interactive programs to the public. The position also entails operating the building when other staff are away, retail sales work, light clerical duties (word processing, poster-making etc.), assisting the Park Interpreters with their programming, and related duties such as program preparation/cleanup and building & animal maintenance.

Essential Qualifications:
·     Excellent public communication skills and experience / love for working with the public (including children);
·      A good working knowledge of the natural history & ecosystems of Central Alberta
·      An excellent knowledge of the sights, attractions, major events, roads, and parks of Red Deer, including the bike trails of Waskasoo Park;
·      Current first aid / C.P.R. certificates;
·      A valid driver's permit and reliable transportation;
·      A neat appearance and the willingness to wear the Park uniform, and to abide by the Normandeau Society’s smoking and other policies;
·      Willingness and ability to stay the entire term of this position;
·      Willingness and ability to work most weekends and evenings;
·      Good health: some lifting is required;
·      Good organizational skills and the ability to plan your schedule and workload;
·      Reliable and trustworthy, punctual and conscientious;

Desirable Qualities:
·         Post-secondary schooling in western Canadian natural history, biological sciences education, or interpretation;
·      Retail sales experience;
·      Experience in art or graphic design;
·      Experience with computers (Windows environment) and basic word-processing, spreadsheets, database and desktop publishing; experience working on a computer network;
·      Basic knowledge of the human history of central Alberta.

Term and Conditions of Employment:
·      Training/work to start immediately.
·      This is a part-time position (weekend days, some evenings);
·      Four positions are available;
·      Accommodation is not provided;
·      Regular evening and weekend work is required.

To Apply:
Apply in writing by ASAP (postings will remain open until suitable candidates are found) to:

Human Resource, Waskasoo Environmental Education Society
6300 - 45th Avenue
Red Deer, AB, T4N 3M4
Fax: 347-2550

Include a résumé outlining related experience and references, and
a brief letter explaining why the position is of interest to you. No phone calls, please.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Imagination Grove -- Opening Soon!

The time's almost here, everyone! And yes, it's definitely worth an exclamation point because we're pretty excited. Imagination Grove, our new outdoor classroom and natural learning space,
 will be officially opening on Monday, October 6, at 1:00 pm. Following one last work-bee on Saturday, everything should be ready for lots of fun and free play. You can find more information on this page, but in the meantime here's a bit of a preview:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Imagination Grove

Work is well underway for Imagination Grove, the new nature playground here at Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Here's a quick look at what's going on today.

Some of the materials that go into a nature playground

This should be quite the climbing structure

Our new amphitheatre in the works

No more turnstile gate

Things are coming along nicely, with more on the way. Watch for the upcoming announcement of our opening in October. Then be sure to come down and play!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mushroom Day -- Change of Date

I have a correction to the date for our mushroom evening with Dr. Lou Piening. The program will be moving from Thursday to Friday, September 5th. The time is still 7:00 pm, and everyone is welcome.

Mushroom Day

Are you interested in wild mushrooms? Would you like to know what's edible and what's not? Join us on Thursday, September 4th at 7:00 pm for an exploration of wild mushrooms with mycologist Dr. Lou Piening.

This event is free and open to everyone. Be sure to bring your samples. Hope to see you here!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Seen in the Sanctuary

I got a chance to take the camera and go for a walk this afternoon. Here's a little of what's happening on the Dr George Trail in early August:

The chickadees were all very busy. They always seem to be.

Looks like this little guy is getting ready to cocoon.

I seem to take a lot of photos of duck bottoms...

There's lots of nectaring on the goldenrod right now.

That's a meadowhawk. Appropriately, in the meadow.

It's definitely prime saskatoon season.

Can you spot the face made by these woodpecker holes?

The Sanctuary was a very busy place today, both with the resident animals and all the people that came to visit. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me out there, folks. And remember, if you see one of our staffers out on the trails please don't hesitate to say hi. You never know what we might be able to tell you about recent happenings!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

See? We can be found after all!

Surprise sequel to my earlier post...

Big 105 tweeted that they were delivering Slurpees.Of course we tweeted back that we'd like some. The result?

Guess we're findable even with the construction. Thanks for the treat, folks. It's a great day for it!

Find Us

Above the posts on this blog you'll see a tab called Find Us that shows a Google map and gives directions to Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

It's a bit more complicated than that at the moment.

Road construction on 55th Street means that you won't have direct access to the Centre if you're coming from the west. There are a couple of ways to get around this, though. If you're on Gaetz Avenue southbound, continue on until you hit 49th Street (sometimes thought of as Ross Street eastbound). Right now you can get to us via 45th Avenue going past Coronation Park, but if you're concerned about that being blocked by construction or don't know the city very well, continue going east until the next major intersection (40th Avenue) and turn left. 40th Avenue takes a curve and becomes 55th Street. From there, you should be able to get to 45th Avenue (via detour signs, if they've got any short-term blockages). Turn right, and follow 45th Avenue as usual.

Doesn't taking the bike paths sound like a much easier alternative? You can get to us via the South Bank Trail. We have a bike stand and a convenient repair stand as well if you've had any trouble along the way.

Don't forget -- we're still here even if construction makes it harder to get here. We hope to see you soon!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Seen in the Wildflower Garden

Our volunteer-maintained wildflower garden is a bit of a secret in plain sight. Just outside our back door (beside the overflow parking), it contains a wide variety of local flowers. Here's a bit of what I saw when I was out with the camera a couple of Fridays ago:

Blue-eyed Grass

Blue Flax, one of my favourites

A Blue on the Western Canada Violets

Canada Anemone

One of the many varieties of Columbine

Yellow Ladyslipper Orchids

What you find flowering changes with the seasons, so it's always worth a quick stroll to see what's up in the garden. And if you have a green thumb and would like to help our gardeners out, give Marg a call at 403-346-2010 ext. 113.

Friday, June 20, 2014

We're hiring

We're looking for two to three people to work part-time Visitor Services at Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Check our facebook post for details and contact information.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Help build the gardens

In the past we've told you about the Busby Legacy Gardens at the Allen Bungalow. The project is well underway, and with spring (finally... apparently...) here we'll soon be gearing up for planting season. We had a very successful fundraiser with leaf sales at Sobeys on the North Hill -- leaves are still available to purchase for $1 at Parkland Garden Centre and here at the Nature Centre -- and now we're looking for plant sponsors.

Over the next few weeks I'll be featuring trees (like this Royalty Flowering Crab Apple), shrubs, and other perennials that we need for the gardens on our Twitter account (@NatureCentre). If you're interested in sponsoring a plant, all you need to do is contact Darlene at 403-346-2010 ext. 120 or e-mail her at Tax receipts are available for all donations.

If you'd like to be involved with the gardens but would rather put in time than money, you can volunteer to help with planting and maintenance. Call Marg, our Volunteer Coordinator, at 403-346-2010 ext. 113 to let her know you'd like to lend a hand.

Things are shaping up really well for the gardens, and I'm looking forward to seeing things grow. Now if only the weather would cooperate we'd be all set.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Community Help

Right now there is a group of 13 Junior Forest Wardens out exploring the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary. They aren't there just for fun and for learning about the local environment, they're also helping to maintain the trails and structures, and pass along knowledge.

Junior Forest Wardens are young people who, through this amazing program, learn about nature, the environment, environmental science, forest ecology, and conservation through some fantastic outdoor learning opportunities. The local Red Deer group - the Red Deer Woodchucks - is extremely active. If you're looking for an outdoor activity for your kids, they're a great place to investigate.

In August, 2013 the leader of the oldest age group of Wardens contacted us and asked about a partnership. They wanted to "adopt" the Sanctuary. They offered to take some of the responsibility for things like trail maintenance, garbage removal, and invasive species control. They also wanted to do some public awareness work. In return we'd teach them about the local environment, educate them on the history and importance of the Sanctuary, and provide mentorship to the kids. The oldest kids would then bring in the younger age groups, pass on their knowledge, and lead them in stewardship activities.

Tonight marks the 8th visit by these intrepid youngsters. To a person they've been enthusiastic, personable, and incredibly hard-working. They've scraped tons of ice and snow off the viewing decks, emptied garbage cans, picked garbage from the trails, and started sharing their knowledge with the younger kids.

In the coming months, we'll be expanding their responsibilities to include some public education and awareness work. We'll be heading up into the Clearview Ridge subdivision, just above the Sanctuary, to interact with the residents and educate them about the Sanctuary, where to access the park, and how to minimise the impact of the neighbourhood on the Sanctuary. The Wardens will be taking a role in the development of the educational materials, distributing the information door-to-door, and co-hosting a community barbecue in the Spring.

This has been a wonderful relationship for everybody involved. The Wardens fulfilled their mandate, we had a group take us on for some important work, and everybody - and the Sanctuary - has benefited. We look forward to a bright future with the Junior Forest Wardens and thank them for all their hard work.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kids Bird House Program

Bird house building for Kids

The Friends of the Kerry Wood nature Centre will be hosting a bird house building program for kids on February 15 at 2:00pm at the Kerry Wood Centre. Kids will learn about the birds of spring and then build a bird home to take home. The program lasts about 1.5 hours and is appropriate for kids 6-12 years of age. An adult needs to accompany the children. Cost; $8.00 per child for KWNC  non members and $7.00 for members. Please register by phone or via our website ;
For more info call 403 346 2010 and ask for  BOB

Friday, January 10, 2014

Seen in the Sanctuary

Just a few quick photos from yesterday's stroll:

Black-capped Chickadee

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red Squirrel. This one had just lost a territorial spat.

The warmer weather has meant more activity in the Sanctuary, but with the deep snow snowshoes are still the best way to get about. Call us at 403-346-2010 for details about rentals.