Kamloops Naturalists Club will soon see 30-year dream come to fruition | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops Naturalists Club will soon see 30-year dream come to fruition

Herons at the Tranquille wetland.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Kamloops Naturalist Club
September 18, 2020 - 4:42 PM

The Kamloops Naturalist Club will soon see a dream come true after more than three decades of deliberation and planning.

A wildlife viewing platform on the Tranquille wetlands is finally about to become a reality, according to a naturalist club release. 

Currently, the project is its its first phase of geotechnical investigation, biology work and archeological planning. The next phase will involve obtaining regulatory approval and finalizing a platform design. Construction will begin in the fall of 2021.

“Tranquille is so special, I’ve been coming here with him since I was a kid," naturalist club member Jesse Ritcey said in the release. "It’s a birdwatching hotspot. This platform will showcase that and have so many different community benefits related to tourism, health and wellness, increasing park connectivity, and education and scientific research."

To finish the first phase of the project, the club needs $5,000. They're doing one final fundraising push with an online charity auction, hosted on the Kamloops 24 Hour BID WARS Facebook page.

The #ExperienceNature Charity Auction will run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4.

“We’re so close to our phase one goal and are hopeful that this Facebook auction will bring in some much needed funds," Ritcey said. "We have unique experiences like guided birdwatching and gold panning trips, skill sharing, local books signed by the authors, gift certificates, incredible artwork, and lots more."

The Tranquille wetlands have been a part of the Lac du Bois Grasslands Provincial Park since 1987. 

“Kamloops is incredibly lucky to have the biodiversity of the wetlands so close to our City centre," club president Nancy Flood said in the release. “The members of our club have been talking about building a viewing platform for as long as I can remember." 

Few places in B.C. match the diversity of the breeding birds in this area. Over 130 confirmed bird species have been tallied.

The large small bird population attracts bald and golden eagles, ospreys and prairie, gyr and peregrine falcons. Mule deer, coyotes, beavers, muskrats, black bears and river otters have also been sighted in the area.

The naturalist club hopes to continue fundraising after their initial goal is met and begin development of a boardwalk with the viewing platform in the late Fall of 2021.

Eventually park amenities like benches, garbage cans and a washroom will be included at the site. A webcam will film pond activity and surveillance cameras will deter park vandals.

To participate in the auction online, click here to visit the Kamloops 24 Hour BID WARS Facebook page.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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