Birds, bugs, beavers and butterflies.
All of them and more reside along the Salmon Arm foreshore and many are represented in the Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society’s Brighouse Nature Centre located at Marine Peace Park.
From mid June to the end of August, interpreters are on hand to help visitors get the best possible experience in viewing the abundant variety of species that call Salmon Arm home or drop in on their way to somewhere else.
This year, Emmy Sim and Morgan Lapointe have taken on the role of interpreters.
“Our main goal is to engage with the public and answer any questions on nature, trails, and birds,” says Sim, pointing out that on a busy day, up to 100 people visit the centre. “We draw your attention to things you might not notice and our main focus is on bird species.”
Sim says people sometimes describe a bird call that the interpreters with their many bird call resources are often able to identify.
Along with the bird calls, there is a wide variety of stuffed birds, a number of butterfly species, a tiny microscope to look at butterflies and bugs from the area, owls, a beaver skull and a video of grebes dancing.
“You can get a really good look at the beaver’s two-layered teeth and a lot of people are really impressed with the owls,” says Sim, noting many people never get a bird’s eye view of the majestic creatures. “There are about 200 species of birds in the area.”
The interpreters say the biggest draws at the nature centre right now are the osprey, great blue heron, six different species of swallows, 13 species of ducks and red-wing and yellow-headed blackbirds.
Sim and Lapointe also encourage a love of nature in youngsters through the centre’s Wildlife Wednesdays program.
“This is such an incredible job,” raves Sim. “It’s great to see kids learning and lovely to see people enjoy seeing the nature in the area.”
Sim is currently studying communications at Simon Fraser University.
Lapointe is going into Grade 12, has a passion for geology and environmental studies and is thrilled to have such a rewarding summer job.
Located at Marine Peace Park, the Brighouse Nature Centre is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer.