Planning the 2021 Brant Wildlife Festival was like entering uncharted territory. The public health restrictions meant that we could not have gatherings or our traditional events, but with determination and public support, the self-directed festival was a success.
This year we got creative in raising Nature’s profile during a pandemic. We engaged local businesses with the #SpottheBrant promotion; we created educational videos and news articles about special natural places; we met online and outside to catalogue the biodiversity in our region.
So where do we go from here? How can we continue to celebrate and support our beautiful natural environment throughout the year? As a resident of Oceanside, what can you do to make this place even more amazing?
The Arrowsmith Naturalists: arrowsmithnats.org is a sizeable and vigorous group. They hold many outdoor trips and educational opportunities. Visit various ecosystems, learn to identify mushrooms, go birding! Find out about living within the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region: mabr.ca
Visit the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre and find out about wildlife and see the great work they do with injured wildlife: NIWRA.org
There are many stewardship groups looking for a hand and it’s a great way to make friends. Help eradicate invasive plants, assist with water quality and flow measurements, work with stream restoration, help with tours, work on websites, learn new skills.
The Friends of French Creek Conservation Society, Broombusters, Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers, Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, and many more groups are looking for volunteers.
Protect the Environment:
Help wildlife and the planet. Oceanside’s population will be doubling before long. This creates an ongoing threat of habitat loss and ecosystem diversity loss that affects people and wildlife alike. Respond by conserving land and restoring natural places.
The Nature Trust of British Columbia is celebrating 50 years conserving special places in BC. The Nature Trust is very active on the island and right here in our back yard. Much of the land around the Englishman River Estuary has been protected by The Nature Trust as well as conservation lands near the Englishman River Regional Park.
As the largest land trust in BC, The Nature Trust of BC has protected more than 178,000 acres of significant land in the province. Learn about their priority projects and donate on their website: www.naturetrust.bc.ca
Join the Festival:
If you have ideas for the festival next year, get in touch with us! Hopefully, we will again be able to come together in nature and have some fun. The Brant Wildlife Festival relies on community support to continue. COVID has made the festival particularly difficult these last two years.
If you have enjoyed the festival, please consider making a donation.