Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Burger & Beer Night a Great Success

Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre Burger & Beer Night a Great Success Cowichan Bay, B.C. – The Cowichan Land Trust’s Burger & Beer Night July 17th at the Cowichan Bay Marine Pub was a great success, raising over $4600 for the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre!!  Those who came out to support the fundraiser event enjoyed a great meal, good company, and wonderful entertainment by folk artist and singer songwriter Cara McCandless.  Guests also had the chance to bid on dozens of fantastic items in both a silent auction and exciting live auction!A special thank you to the Cowichan Bay Marine Pub, all the businesses and individuals who donated items for the auction, and to those who volunteered their time for such a great cause – auctioneer Ray Demarchi, and folk artist and singer songwriter Cara McCandless. The Cowichan Land Trust is working with a local group of energetic volunteers to create an Interpretive Nature Centre overlooking the Cowichan Estuary in Cowichan Bay.  The Nature Centre will have both indoor and outdoor classrooms and provide interactive opportunities for children and adults to learn about our amazing estuary, its watershed, marine life, and natural and cultural history. We also expect an Estuary Nature Centre to be an economic benefit for Cowichan Bay, drawing a significant number of new tourists to our region. In order to be eligible for $300,000 in grant funding from West Coast Community Adjustment Program and Island Coastal Economic Trust for the Nature Centre, we need to raise at least $35,000 by August 15th, 2011.  As of July 20th the Cowichan Land Trust has raised $21,000 and has just over $13,000 more to raise! The next fundraising event will be a moonlight paddle on Wednesday August 3rd at 8:00 pm at Cowichan Bay Kayak and Outfitters. Join our nature guides for a three hour paddle in the estuary. To book your spot call 250-748-2333. Cost is $55 per person, payable by cash or cheque made out to the Cowichan Land Trust, limited spaces available. No experience necessary. If you are interested in making a donation towards the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre please contact the Cowichan Land Trust directly by phone 250-746-0227 or via email at info@cowichanlandtrust.ca.  The first forty donations of $1000 or more will receive recognition on the Founding Donors wall at the Nature Centre. A Big THANK YOU to the following donors for their contribution! Auction Items: Dinter’s Nursery, Chariteas, Rembrandt’s Chocolates, Local Artist Herb Rice, Ms. Peggy Smith, Cobbleccino’s Café, Peninsula Co-op Duncan, Duncan Auto Parts, Mr. John Scull, Rock Cod Café, South Cowichan Eyecare, Local Artist Brian Clark, Volume One Bookstore, Forever Fit – Fitness for Life, Pacific Water Sports, Mr. Mikes Steakhouse & Bar, Ms. Marilyn Rummel, Safeway, Drumroaster Coffee, Cherry Point Estate Wines, Local Artist Nan Goodship, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Radway Studio, The Brick, Local Artist Peter Spohn, Local Artist Chris Brayton, Local Artist Jennifer Lawson, McCandless Family Band, Ms. Mari Brown, Ms. Jane Kilthei & Mr. Larry Lenske, Local Artist Robert Cerins Ticket Sales: Volume One Bookstore, Cowichan Bay Kayak & Outfitters Others: Cowichan Bay Marine Pub, Cara McCandless, Ray Demarchi

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Valley Youth Become Treffery Creek Streamkeepers

Valley Youth Become Treffery Creek Streamkeepers There is a little creek flowing from above Bench Road, underneath the highway and into the Koksilah River near the Robert Service Memorial on Cowichan Bay Road. You might have never noticed it before, but for the past six years, this little creek has been cared for by the graduates of the Young Naturalists’ Club. The youth have regularly monitored the water quality and taken on enhancement projects, such as streamside planting, to improve the creek habitat for fish and other wildlife. One of the group’s original youth, Holly Miller-Stroes, told how their discovery of an adult trout led to Treffery being protected as a fish-bearing, spawning creek. Many members of the original Treffery Creek group have since grown up and moved on, spurring the need to train a group of new streamkeepers. The Cowichan Land Trust hosted a two-day youth-focused Streamkeepers course in March, which not only attracted youth, but also adults who want to support youth. Dianne Schwestak of Crofton took the course so she could encourage her grandchildren to be streamkeepers and help the environment. “I was surprised by the heart felt experience I gained through this course, got much more than I imagined. I was blessed out of my borrowed Wellingtons!” Schwestak said. On Saturday, April 16, a new group of Valley youth took on the task of becoming the second generation of streamkeepers on Treffery Creek. The new group consists of members of the Young Naturalist’s Club, as well as some youth from Cowichan Intercultural Society (CIS). Linda Hill, the Leadership Coordinator at CIS added, “Treffery Creek is an example of how youth and adults can stand up for nature together.” One of the adult supporters, Heather Fisher, added, “The youth specifically asked us to do environmental work, so I feel this streamkeeper group fills an important niche in promoting youth leadership in environmental, earth-based service work in the Valley.” Cowichan First Nations youth selected to participate in Wilderness International’s “Wisdom Seekers Knowledge Keepers” program were also at Treffery to gain knowledge about salmon, biodiversity and the environment. They are excited to be directly involved in conserving threatened salmon habitat on a creek within Cowichan Tribes traditional territory. This group is also hosting a “Walk for the Wild” on May 25 at the Cowichan Sportsplex to raise money for the Sansum Point acquisition. Through the Friends of Cowichan Creeks project, the Cowichan Land Trust will be working to monitor, protect, and enhance creeks by facilitating the work of streamkeeper groups. They are hosting their next Streamkeepers course on May 28 & 29 in Lake Cowichan. Registration is $60 and includes lunch and refreshments. If you’d like to get involved in streamkeeping, learn more about the project or register for the course, contact Jen at the Cowichan Land Trust by phone (250) 746-0227 or email: info@cowichanlandtrust.ca

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CLT Receives Donation from Coastal Community Credit Union

CLT Receives Donation from Coastal Community Credit Union On April 6, 2011 the Cowichan Land Trust received a cheque from Coastal Community Credit Union for $574.17! These funds were earned by staff members who called and asked members to suppress their banking statements in order to save the environment. The savings the credit union has gained in not printing and mailing these statements is being distributed to a number of their community partners across Vancouver Island who are like minded in their environmental protection values. CLT Board member Kathy Wachs was presented with the cheque at the Chemainus Branch. A big thank you to Coastal Community Credit Union for their support!!

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Chemainus Youth About to Rip Out Plants in Askew Creek Park

Chemainus Youth About to Rip Out Plants in Askew Creek Park On Saturday January 15, a group of youth volunteers from the Neighbourhood House will be causing mass destruction in Askew Creek Park. Don’t worry, it’s all in the name of biodiversity! They will be joined by the Askew Creek streamkeepers and the Cowichan Land Trust to help clear the park of invasive English ivy. All local residents are welcome to participate in the work party, which will begin at 11am at the Oak St. park entrance. Refreshments will be provided; all you need is a lunch, a pair of gloves and your enthusiasm! Click here to check out the event poster. English ivy is a widely planted vine that has quickly spread from our gardens into the park. Ivy inhibits the growth and regeneration of native wildflowers, shrubs and trees through shading and smothering. Native plants not only provide shelter and food for birds, invertebrates and other animals on land, but also for the fish living within the creek. This work party is one of several streamkeeper events to take place in the Cowichan region as part of the CLT’s Friends of Cowichan Creeks project. Over the next two years the CLT will be working to monitor, protect, and enhance creeks by facilitating the work of streamkeeper groups. Funding for this project comes from Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program, the Junior League of Greater Vancouver Legacy Fund, the Vancouver Foundation, RBC Blue Water Project, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and Telus. For more information about the Friends of Cowichan Creeks project, check out the “Projects” page.

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