Kanaka Creek has attracted people for thousands of years to its marshlands, forests, fish laden pools, sandstone canyons and waterfalls. First Nations people used the area for hunting, gathering, fishing and as a spiritual place; in the last century it has become a popular destination for recreationists. Its ecological sensitive watershed drains from its Blue Mountain source to a low lying plain, where Kanaka Creek winds its way to the tidal waters of the Fraser River. The watershed is habitat for an abundance of native plants and wildlife including salmon, trout, herons, woodpeckers, tailed frogs, and bears. Until recently, Kanaka Creek Regional Park was also home to the Bell-Irving Hatchery.
A small animal barn in Kanaka Creek Regional Park was adapted for use as a hatchery approximately 30 years ago. It became known as the Bell-Irving Hatchery. As programming expanded in Kanaka Creek Regional Park, the Bell-Irving Hatchery quickly became much more than a highly productive hatchery. The Hatchery also served as an attraction to the park, an educational facility, a meeting place, an event location and an office. Since it was established, about 8 million salmonids have been raised and released. Some of these salmonids were part of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s “Salmonids in the Classroom” Program. This is due to the staff’s generosity and volunteerism as they provide salmonids for classrooms across the Lower Mainland.
Unfortunately, the success and demand for the environmental education and stewardship programs offered in Kanaka Creek Regional Park became too much for the Bell-Irving Hatchery. It was discovered that the aging facility was full of mould and consequently no longer viable as a public building. With that, the beginning of September marked the demolition of the Bell-Irving Hatchery.
As we embark on our first ever major capital campaign to rebuild the Hatchery and construct an accompanying Watershed Stewardship Centre, we are calling all regional parks users and the communities of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to step forward. The Bell-Irving Hatchery was a community hub for almost 30 years. Do not let this sense of community and environmental stewardship fade with the demolition of the Bell-Irving Hatchery.
The Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre (KCWSC) promises to focus on hands-on, experiential education. Participants will learn about nature and the watershed, participate in hatchery activities, play outdoors, hike, test water quality, and survey stream invertebrates with interpreters. The KCWSC is intended as an immersive and highly engaging place with a strong connection to the natural environment.
To make the KCWSC a reality, we are asking you to step up and leave a new legacy. It is one thing to have such facilities built for your use, it is another to be there in the beginning to make your own contribution and feel a sense of pride and ownership for this project.
Whether you host a community fundraiser, a bake sale in your school, a penny drive or a bottle drive – you have the power to make a valuable financial contribution. No donation is too small.
Donations can be made on our website via Canada Helps or with a cheque made out to Pacific Parklands Foundation. All donations will be issued a charitable tax receipt and can be designated so that 100% of the funds go directly towards the KCWSC project.
Metro Vancouver has made a $500,000 commitment to the project. Currently the costs for this project are being reviewed and potential funding partners are being sought.
In the process of raising funds for the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre, PPF has made it into two voting competitions - the Aviva Community Fund and Shell FuellingChange. Though our applications were successfully approved, we will not receive funding without public support.
We need your help.
With each competition, we have the potential to bring in $100,000. Success in one or both of these campaigns would go a long way to helping us reach our $500,000 goal for the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre.
With the Aviva Community Fund, there is no purchase necessary. You simply create an account and vote. The only time they send email is to confirm the creation of your account and notify you who the finalists are. Spread the word to your friends, family and social networks, and vote for the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre from November 12-26, 2012 by clicking here.
We are once again entered in Shell FuellingChange but this time they have drastically reduced the number of participants. We successfully made the cut and with that are more determined than ever to get the $100,000. We have been close in the previous two cycles we participated in, losing out in the final hours. This year we need your help to stay at the top and give it a final push until the deadline (April 30, 2013)! Each time you make a purchase at Shell (fuel or otherwise), enter your receipt and vote for PPF here starting November 4th. Encourage your sports teams, companies and/or organizations to fuel up at Shell for a week or a month at a time in support of this project and help us come out on top!
Initiate friendly competition in your workplace (or other area of involvement) and see who can garner the most votes in support of PPF. We would be happy to work with you on the logistics of a competition and even offer up some prizes. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 778.452.2676 to talk details!