In honour of the 125th anniversary of Maj. Allan Brooks documenting hundreds of bird species in the Okanagan from 1888 to 1889, the Allan Brooks Nature Centre (ABNC) has launched a new program for youth called the Jr. Nature Sketch Club.
Armed with a sketchbook, a pencil, a naturalist and an artist, the Jr. Nature Sketch Club takes ABNC members out in the field to connect and learn about our region’s ecological diversity.
“Today’s sketch club members are tomorrow’s innovators, creators and stewards of the earth. Fostering an appreciation for nature and art is more important now than ever before and the Jr. Nature Sketch Club is a way to make a difference in the next generation today,” said artist Leanne Cadden who has designed the sketchbooks for the program.
Aaron Deans, ABNC executive director, is one of the head biologists highlighting the local flora and fauna of the region, and says anyone interested in seeing the original Allan Brooks’ sketchbook can visit the Vernon Museum, where it resides under glass for safe keeping.
Like its namesake, the ABNC will provide kids with the opportunity to learn about nature from an ecological perspective as well as gain the extra creative perspective of having to sketch what they are learning about.
The guest artists, biologists and nature enthusiasts will also share their knowledge and expertise every second Saturday at a different local ecosystem.
Outings include local, regional, provincial parks and protected areas in the vicinity of Vernon.
Future Saturday locations include North Vernon Park, Silver Star Mountain, Ellison Provincial Park, Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Kalamalka Lake Lagoon, Swan Lake Nature Reserve, Grey Canal Trail, and Rose’s Pond.
Those with one-year or three-year family memberships receive one and two free sketchbooks of their choosing, respectively. Additional sketchbooks are available at a reduced member price.
“There are 10 different sketchbooks in two sizes available in the ABNC gift shop for the public to purchase,” added Cadden.
The age limit to join the club is five-to-16 years old and parents must be able to pick up and drop off members at each site. Outings will be every second Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at each location. There is a $2 drop-in fee for sketch club events.
To register or get more information, call the ABNC at (250) 260-4227 or visit the centre’s Facebook page.