Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary celebrates the Equinox

Poetry, visual arts and a chance to interact with nature are all part of the fun Sept. 23 during the open house in Coldstream

Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary will be celebrating the community involvement of volunteers, writers, and artists at their Equinox Open House on Sunday, and invites the public to come out and see their handiwork.

In 2011, a large area of lawn was converted into a native plant garden with the help of Okanagan master gardeners and numerous enthusiastic community volunteers. The garden has flourished since then, creating an abundance of pollen and attracting a wide variety of winged friends, both of the insect and bird varieties.

A group of dedicated volunteers, headed by Ev and Barb Miyasaki, have created a water feature in the garden to attract more wildlife and create the calming sounds of water.

“The time, effort, and heart that’s been put into the creation of the native plant garden and, most recently, the water feature, by volunteers has been exceptional,” says resident caretaker Aaron Deans. “This open house is, in part, to show off the results of all their hard work.”

The public is invited to walk through the sanctuary to see how the native species of plants have grown, to see the new water feature, and to look out for resident and migrating birds. Local writers and artists will be presenting their work on-site as well.

Poet Nancy Holmes, will be reading from her new collection, The Flicker Tree: Okanagan Poems, a poetic exploration of the landscape and wildlife of the Okanagan. The reading is at 2 p.m. and she will be available to answer questions and sign books. As well, Vernon artists Joanne Sale and Leanne Cadden will have site-specific work on display.

Novelist and poet Laisha Rosnau, who is also one of the resident caretakers of the bird sanctuary, will be presenting a poetic guide to the sanctuary, illustrated by Vernon artist Heidi Maddess. This project is part of an Okanagan Valley-wide initiative led by UBC Okanagan called the Eco Art Incubator.

“This creative guide will give people the opportunity to stop on the property, read a haiku and look at a drawing inspired by the surroundings,” said Rosnau. “It will provide another way to interact with this place and the species present here.”

Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary’s Equinox Open House takes place Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 12408 Coldstream Creek Rd. Admission is by donation and all are welcome.

For more information, please call 250-542-5122 or e-mail bishopwildbird@gmail.com