Kalamalka Rotary Makes Big Donation to Allan Brooks Nature Centre
For almost 25 years the Allan Brooks Nature Centre has been providing local children, adults and visitors to the Okanagan with nature-based learning opportunities and experiences ranging through public programming and event to curriculum-based education for preschool, primary and secondary students. Now, Kalamalka Rotary is pleased to announce the approval of a donation of $45,000 to the Centre to assist with long needed renovations to the almost 50 year old building, the funds coming from the very successful Kal Rotary Dream Auction.
"Our club has been involved with the Allan Brooks Nature Centre for almost two decades," said Kal Rotary President, Dr. Carmen Larsen, "Including donations, onsite club meetings and work parties where club members donate their time to assist with projects at the Centre."
"The enthusiastic public support of the Kal Rotary Dream Auction has allowed the club to make more meaningful donations, according to Local Donations Chair, Mike Nolan.
He noted these make a real difference to the success of these groups' projects. The Centre is housed in the old federal government Upper Air Weather Station from which scientists launched weather balloons to track upper atmosphere conditions and predict future weather. From the site, visitors are treated to panoramic views of five lakes and three ecosystems as well as wildlife sightings from Yellow-Bellied Marmots to Red-Tailed Hawks, Prairie Falcons and Snowy Owls. In 2018 the Centre recorded almost 9000 visits and that number is growing each year.
The weather station, opened in 1972, was showing its age and required major upgrades to continue offering the programs, including an HVAC system for the loft, classrooms, Discovery Room and Habitat Room, replacement of three old single pane windows in the Interpretive Centre, replacement of the reception area flooring and painting of the that area and repair and painting of the outside stucco.
"We're very grateful for the generous support of Kal Rotary," said Jim Popowich, Allan Brooks Nature Centre board chair. "The current donation will allow us to provide an improved experience for our visitors and will greatly help extend the life of the facility. Our thanks also to area merchants and craftsmen for their contribution of labor and materials, which allowed work to complete this past autumn."