Children follow an instructor during a nature walk at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre. (Submitted)

Children follow an instructor during a nature walk at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre. (Submitted)

Kal Rotary Club donates funds to fix up aging Vernon nature centre

Allan Brooks Nature Centre receives $45,000 for renovations from Kal Rotary Dream Auction

The Allan Brooks Nature Centre has offered lessons and experiences about nature for almost 25 years, and thanks to a locally sourced donation, it will have the building upgrades needed for the next quarter-century.

The Kalamalka Rotary Club has announced a donation of $45,000 towards renovations for the nearly 50-year-old building in Vernon, which the club says are long overdue.

“Our club has been involved with the Allan Brooks Nature Centre for almost two decades, including donations, onsite club meetings and work parties where club members donate their time to assist with projects at the Centre,” said Kal Rotary President Dr. Carmen Larsen.

The funds come from the Kal Rotary Dream Auction, which took place in December. The success of the auction has allowed the club to make more meaningful donations.

“These make a real difference to the success of these groups’ projects,” said Local Donations Chair Mike Nolan.

Upgrades to the centre include an HVAC system, as well as new windows, floors and paint jobs for various parts of the building.

The centre is housed in the Upper Air Weather Centre, which opened in 1972 and was at one time use to launch weather balloons to track upper atmospheric conditions and create weather forecasts.

In 2018 the centre had almost 9,000 visits, and attendance is growing each year.

“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.”

READ MORE: Vernon Dream Auction works local and international magic

READ MORE: Be inspired by nature at the Okanagan Science Centre

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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