The North Okanagan’s Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society has been recognized nationally for its exemplary work in salmon conservation.
The centre in Ashton Creek east of Enderby is the recipient of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s 2021 Nature Inspiration Award for Community Action. As an award winner, the society secured a $5,000 ‘pay it forward’ donation that it will pass on to a local nature-related program of its choice.
“Gaining national recognition shows how remarkable the work being done at the centre is,” said Shona Bruce, Kingfisher Interpretive Centre Society executive director. “KICS educational programming has, and will continue to have, a positive ripple effect into our community and to salmon conservation for years to come. The community of Kingfisher should be commended for having the foresight and the enthusiasm to start it all.”
The centre has been a leader in salmon conservation for four decades and was founded in response to the near extinction of salmon stocks in the Shuswap River. Since 1981 the centre has educated more than 40,000 local students, and the site welcomes around 8,000 visitors each year. Environmental conferences, public events and professional development days for school teachers all take place at the centre, which provides salmon eggs for classroom incubators.
The centre works with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and its watershed-model learning tool has been replicated at other international locations and educational institutions.
Awards were given out in seven categories during an online gala, with the winners selected by a jury.
“At a time when we are confronting impacts of the pandemic, as well as broader challenges to the protection of biodiversity, it’s inspiring to recognize these amazing individuals and groups,” said Meg Beckel, president and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. “Whether the impacts of their efforts are local, regional or national, all of their innovative projects provide hope in guiding us towards a sustainable future.”