An interpreter at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre leads youngsters on a walk. The centre holds its annual fundraising dinner and auction April 5.

An interpreter at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre leads youngsters on a walk. The centre holds its annual fundraising dinner and auction April 5.

Supported by the community

The Allan Brooks Nature Centre prepares for its annual Dinner and Auction taking place April 5 at the Best Western Vernon Lodge

Eagles and hawks freewheel above Allan Brooks Nature Centre while yellow-bellied marmots poke their heads out of their winter dens for their first sun of the season.

Spring also brings the centre’s annual Dinner and Auction, held April 5 at the Best Western Vernon Lodge, with emcee CHBC’s Mike Roberts. For the first year, the pre-dinner entertainment will be a trio of young musicians. The Triple Scoop Trio features Anastasia Martens on cello, Jacob Bennet on violin and Jenny Sutherland on piano.

“These talented musicians are between 11- and 14-years-old, which is so fitting because much of our educational programming is focused on children and youth,” said Aaron Deans, executive director.

The centre, which overlooks Vernon from its location on the Commonage, offers spring and fall programs for school groups and summer day camps for youth, as well as trails and interpretive displays open to the public beginning April 20.

“We’re able to run the centre without regular funding from government thanks to the tremendous support of volunteers and individual donors from within our community. We’re truly a grassroots, community-led and funded organization — and we’re proud of that,” said Deans of the centre, which is funded entirely through memberships, donations and fundraisers, like the dinner and auction. “We all hear and read about cut-backs to government funding, and how many organizations are competing for limited funds, so we’re focused on being able to do more by collaborating with businesses and other organizations throughout the community and we’re grateful to be community-run and funded.

“We are a local part of a groundswell of international initiatives which address what’s known as ‘nature deficit disorder.’ We strive to create unique opportunities for kids, families and the general public to connect with and know more about the benefits of nature. It’s a lifestyle that many of us have come to know in the Okanagan which connects us to the rich natural heritage of our region.”

The centre, said Deans, “truly is, as Mike Roberts of CHBC referred to it, ‘A Jewel of the Okanagan’.”

The Allan Brooks Nature Centre Annual Dinner and Auction takes place April 5 at the Best Western Vernon Lodge.

For more information, contact Deans at 250-260-4227. To purchase tickets, go to www.ticketseller.ca.