The marmots, along with staff, are ready to say hello to the public at Vernon’s Allan Brooks Nature Centre, which opens for the new season Saturday, April 17. (ABNC photo)

The marmots, along with staff, are ready to say hello to the public at Vernon’s Allan Brooks Nature Centre, which opens for the new season Saturday, April 17. (ABNC photo)

New season set to bloom at Vernon nature centre

The Allan Brooks Nature Centre on Commonage Road celebrates its 21st season in 2021

There is no better place to explore right now, than nature. Vernon’s Allan Brooks Nature Centre is officially re-opening to the public as of Saturday, April 17.

In previous years, the centre welcomed guests with an opening day event, and although that is not possible under the current COVID restrictions, guests are invited to visit the site as a safe place to unwind from stress caused by the pandemic.

“The Allan Brooks Nature Centre is a place where people from the North Okanagan can come with family, unplug from your phone, leave the city behind and experience the beauty and awe of the natural world from one of the best views in Vernon,” said centre manager Cheryl Hood.

On Saturday, guests can take part in a guided walking tour at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. for $5 per person (ABNC members and kids under 16 can take part for free). Participants are asked to reserve the tour when they check in at the Interpretive Centre.

There will be free tree sprouts available to the first 50 guests that visit the centre, courtesy of PRT-Coldstream. There will also be a complimentary take-away craft project for kids, and the chance to win a nature-themed gift basket to all guests who visit during the month of April.

There is also a new gift shop display featuring locally sourced items for sale including lavender products, books, art cards, honey and bird and bat boxes, as well as kids toys and explorer kits. Nature lovers are encouraged to take advantage of a two-year Allan Brooks membership at a reduced price, only available until April 17.

Allan Brooks Nature Centre features an easy, rolling walking trail that leads visitors to a variety of features including the Norah Foord Pond Learning Centre, Marmot City, and the analemmatic sundial. New this year, the Grasslands Trail now features six brand new trailhead signs and nine interpretive signs, all of which have updated content and a fresh design.

The Nature Playground was newly constructed in 2020 and this year volunteers have created a sensory bin and water table for kids to enjoy. The centre also received a generous donation of a taxidermy Golden Eagle, aptly named “Cheep Cheep,” which is now displayed in the Discovery Room.

“We encourage everyone to come to the centre this season within their bubble, bring a picnic lunch, walk the Grasslands Trail, explore the Interpretive Centre, and take pictures of the incredible views, budding arrowleaf balsamroot and our resident marmots,” said Hood. “If you are lucky, you will see a raptor swooping through the air, but there are always plenty of songbirds to see. What we can guarantee, is that every visitor will have their own unique connection with nature.”

The Allan Brooks Nature Centre will be open from Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., (the Interpretive Centre will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). COVID protocols will be in effect. Admission to the centre is by donation.

For more details on what you can expect from the Allan Brooks Nature Centre this season, visit

READ MORE: Vernon nature centre celebrates 20 years

READ MORE: Vernon nature centre launches online learning program

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Local BusinessTourism

Just Posted

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)
Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

The spectacular Okanagan Rail Trail from Coldstream. (Linda Busch photo)
Get Outdoors! And explore North Okanagan trails

But, remember to uphold good trail etiquette

A Vernon councillor is facing potential legal action from a former city councillor. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Diversity debate leaves Vernon politician threatened with legal action

Coun. Dalvir Nahal alleged to have defamed a former politician, who is seeking concessions

District of Coldstream municipal offices. (Morning Star file photo)
Coldstream staff recommend cutting outdated, conflicting policies

A staff report also calls for Kal Lak access protections in the next Official Community Plan

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue manager Ken Neden, as he goes over the events of the Qualicum Falls river rescue on Dec. 12, 2020, for a United Kingdom television program “Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’. (Mandy Moraes photo)
UK TV show spreading news of daring B.C. river rescue across the world

Arrowsmith SAR trio share their accounts for ‘Unbelievable Moments Caught on Camera’

Shane Ertmoed’s application for Escorted Temporary Absences was granted following a hearing May 4, 2021. (File photo)
B.C. child-killer an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Most Read