In this issue:

Reflecting On Our Cooperation
Supporting Our Species – SOS
OCCP Action Team News
Partner & Conservation News
Conferences & Workshops
Events
Funding Opportunities
Employment Opportunities
Volunteer Opportunities

Reflecting On Our Cooperation

As we enjoy the start of the Okanagan sun and heat in June, we invite you to consider how OCCP's Statement of Cooperation that 35 member organizations have committed to, outlines priorities and commitments for collaborations which help individuals take action for conservation in the Okanagan Valley. Our Statement of Cooperation commits OCCP Partners in their belief that...

" … protecting this special place is our shared responsibility.. With this Statement of Cooperation we are focusing the energies and efforts of the conservation partners so that each can make a distinctive yet coordinated contribution toward addressing the environmental challenges facing the natural system. We will engage the considerable skills, energy and resources of governments, community groups, educators, youth, workers, industry, and business. We intend to work through the many cooperative mechanisms currently in place to inform and involve local governments, community groups, educators, youth, workers, industry, and business. This will help ensure an open and transparent process of establishing priorities, identifying opportunities for effective cooperative action, and measuring progress. We will work with and be guided by community-supported, broad-based planning initiatives that affect the Okanagan natural system. The Growth Management Strategies and Official Community Plans of Regional Districts in the Okanagan will be key planning tools that will help to focus our efforts in the Okanagan natural system."

In this edition of the OCCP newsletter, you can learn more about OCCP's initiatives for helping each and every individual in the Okanagan to take action to enhance environmental protection in their own way. Contact us today to find out how OCCP can help you meet your conservation goals.

Supporting Our Species — SOS

Spring is a great time to get out and watch the butterflies. As the caterpillars undergo their metamorphosis into butterflies, we encourage all Okanagan residents to participate in a mental metamorphosis, and consider how they can change their lifestyle and become lighter on their wings in terms of their environmental impact. We don't know what the effects of a butterfly flapping its wings on the other side of the planet are, but we do know what effects our actions have on the butterflies and the environment around us. For example, butterflies across Canada have been found to be coming out earlier in the year as the global average temperatures have warmed over the last 130 years. Keep an eye out for these threatened species of butterfly as you roam the outdoors, contemplating your own metamorphosis:

The Common Sootywing, wears a soot-coloured, silky shawl with white detail at its tips of the wings. They are at the northern end of their range in the southern interior, making the populations here important for adapting to climate change, but also more at risk from climatic extremes that cause flowering failure in nectar sources. The main threat is from habitat loss due to development. They need the hot dry grasslands in the valley bottom to survive.

The Lilac-bordered Copper is also at the northern part of its range in the southern interior of BC, and and faces similar threats from climate change and habitat loss. It has been recorded at Terrace Mountain in Vernon, Shorts Creek canyon and Lambley Creek/Bear Creek on the west side of Okanagan Lake, and Anarchist Mountain and Mt. Kobau near Osoyoos. The larvae depend on Douglas's knot (Polygonum douglasii) for its survival, and can become locally extinct if these plants are removed.

The Immaculate Green Hairstreak is another threatened butterfly at the northern end of its range in BC. The adults fly from March through early June, so there is still some time to spot one. They have been seen in Oyama, Shingle Creek Road in Summerland, and Vernon at Goose Lake and Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park. This species has experienced an estimated decline of 50-70% over a short term, and requires specific foodplants throughout their life for their survival, such as parsnip-flowered buckwheat. This species is identified as a candidate for inclusion in the BC Identified Wildlife Management Strategy under the BC Forest and Range Practices Act.

More information about Okanagan butterflies, and a list of plants that can be planted to support them, is available from the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program's (SOSCP) Living in Nature Series. To better co-exist with these beautiful creatures, people can use friendlier alternatives to pesticides, reduce vehicle traffic by carpooling/biking, plant more native wildflowers, and keep low elevation grasslands on their property intact. Right-of-way maintenance crews, private landowners, ranchers, and local citizens all have opportunities to manage for butterfly habitat.

OCCP Action Team News

This month, OCCP has facilitated and participated in a number of collaborative efforts that aim to enhance everyone's ability to take action for conservation in the Okanagan.

On May 19th, the Pollinator Landing team, based at Okanagan Landing Elementary School in Vernon, had the opportunity to share their beautiful outdoor learning space with teachers from other schools during a ProD Day workshop. The workshop was offered to local teachers to introduce them to an outdoor learning curriculum guide that the Pollinator Landing team has been developing, invite them to test and provide feedback on a preliminary draft of the guide, and inspire them to incorporate more outdoor learning into their own work.

During the workshop, teachers toured the teaching garden, in all its spring glory, and tried out some of the activities from the curriculum guide. The teachers worked together using everyday items to build a watershed. Next they added water to their watershed and observed how it flows, and added natural elements like forests (sponges), and human elements like farms to the watershed observe the changes. By doing this outside, it not only allowed some fun and messy hands-on learning, but it also allowed participants to view the hillsides around them and observe the processes they were learning about in the real world at the same time.

This project has been supported by OCCP, Okanagan Basin Water Board, Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society, Regional District of North Okanagan, The Regional District of Central Okanagan, Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, and many local community members who donated materials and time. We are looking forward to continuing to help this team develop and share their work with others.

OCCP is very excited to welcome two more official Partners over the past month, who have signed OCCP's Statement of Cooperation: The Southern Interior Land Trust, and the Okanagan Xeriscape Association. Judie Steeves signed the Statement on behalf SILT, and Gwen Steele, signed on behalf of OXA.

The Okanagan Xeriscape Association (OXA) is a non-profit organization that provides information on xeriscaping, or landscaping with drought tolerant plants. This group offers a wide variety of support to community members who are trying to become more efficient with their use of water. Their website resources include an amazing Okanagan Plant Database to help you select plants to grow, a Landscape Assessment Tool can help you determine where you can reduce or eliminate outdoor water use, and information about the 7 Principles of Xeriscaping. They also offer instructional classes, with the next one coming up at the Summerland Ornamental Gardens on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 10 am to 3 pm.

The Southern Interior Land Trust (SILT; formerly, Okanagan Region Wildlife Heritage Fund Society) is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization that works to purchase land to protect and preserve sensitive fish and wildlife habitat for the benefit of all living things. Currently SILT owns a number of properties in the region, some purchased outright, while others were bought in collaboration with others. Such partnerships have strengthened each group’s individual ability to achieve common goals to benefit wildlife. Restoration of damage to wildlife habitat is another goal of the society, and it has already been involved in projects such as the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative, setting back the dykes along this river so its natural flows can be restored, re-creating acres of wildlife and fish habitat in the South Okanagan.

Make way! Bighorn sheep, badgers, and spadefoots are travelling through the Penticton Archives & Museum all summer!

“How Do We Get From Here to There? Travelling the Green Highway” looks at how animals use natural pathways, or wildlife corridors, to migrate and find food, water, shelter, and mates. Animals have a difficult time getting their needs met when human developments, like towns, roads, vineyards and power lines interrupt wildlife corridors.

“This science, new to some, highlights the importance of keeping wildlife populations connected so that they stay viable and are better able deal with environmental changes like climate change,” said Dennis Oomen, Penticton Museum & Archives curator. This stop for the travelling exhibit will offer a unique combination of new hands-on activities that will accompany the displays, and bring the visitor into the animal's eye view!

Visitors can explore life as an animal travelling through natural and human-made landscapes in an interactive digital map, and by building their own pollinator garden to improve bee connectivity in a 3D neighbourhood. Complementing the bee connectivity portion of the exhibit is a set of 12 hexagonal felted hassocks, featuring 12 important flowers for bees according to local beekeepers in North Okanagan (around Enderby). The hassocks were felted in a community workshop facilitated by local Grindrod artist Cathy Stubington. Visitors to the museum are also invited to dress up as bees, and make their own xeriscape seed packet courtesy of the Kelowna Nectar Trail Project and Border Free Bees.

The travelling exhibit is a community outreach initiative coordinated by the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP), in partnership with UBC Okanagan’s Centre for Culture and Technology, the Complex Environmental Systems Lab, and Border Free Bees. This exhibit is part of a broader project that the OCCP is undertaking to help enhance habitat connectivity in the Okanagan. OCCP is helping local governments work together to plan for the protection of a network of wildlife corridors, but we also hope to inspire local individuals and communities to take action to support habitat connectivity in their own neighbourhoods.

OCCP would like to congratulate Margaret Bakelaar, Environmental Planner for the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), on her recent retirement, and thank her for her many years of dedicated work for conservation in the Okanagan. Margaret has been a pioneer in environmental protection and planning in the Central Okanagan for (over a decade), and she has played a key role on the OCCP Steering Committee during her time here.

She is responsible for spearheading a collaborative project with OCCP and UBCO to model and plan for Ecosystem Connectivity in the Central Okanagan. Margaret was also the visionary behind the initiative to establish the Environmental Advisory Commission for RDCO, which is a voluntary committee of environmental professionals that act as a technical advisory committee to the RDCO Board. Through her work as RDCO Environmental Planner, she has initiated a number of collaborative efforts to map environmental values, and plan and implement protective measures.

For example, in just the past year, she facilitated flood management and source water protection on Shorts Creek; tested the process outlined in the Environmental Assessments for implementing Development Permit Area regulations on existing small lot rural subdivisions; initiated a collaborative effort to update the Foreshore Inventory and Mapping (FIM) of Okanagan Lake; made contributions to the Okanagan Wetland Strategy; supported the Boat Impact Assessment on Water Source Protection for Kalamalka and Wood Lake; and presented at a number of events and workshops, including a workshop on Planning for the Environment, which was hosted this past fall by OCCP and the Planning Institute of BC. Margaret has also represented the RDCO on the Okanagan Basin Water Board's Water Stewardship Council, the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative, and the BC Species and Ecosystems At Risk Local Government Working Group.

We hope Margaret will continue to share her experience and knowledge with the OCCP Steering Committee as she pursues her PhD in Ontario, and we wish her all the best in her future academic contributions to environmental planning.

OCCP would also like to welcome Valentina Rvigimba, a third-year co-op student from UBCO, who will be working on the OCCP team as the Conservation Program Assistant for the summer. Three years ago, she moved to the beautiful Okanagan Valley from Ontario to complete her degree in Medical Biochemistry, and since has found plenty to be passionate about. Spending lots of time outdoors, from skiing to rock climbing, she has realized the importance of conserving our various ecosystems. Thus, she already promotes conservation ideas amongst her University peers, such as composting and voting with your dollar. All in all, she feels OCCP is a good match for her interests, and is enthused about learning and participating in the variety of projects OCCP is collaborating on.

Partner & Conservation News

A couple of photos from the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative, showing how effective the expanded floodplain on Mission Creek has been during the flooding. "It's a testament to the great project design!" says Todd Cashin, City of Kelowna partner in the Mission Creek Restoration Initiative.

Dr. Anna Warwick Sears, Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, is asking for help from OCCP Partners and community members in marking the high water mark in flooded areas throughout the valley, and sending the information to the OBWB. In most areas, the lakes are bumping up against the flood protection measures, but there are some areas that might actually show the unprotected extent. The OBWB and their partners have been working on floodplain mapping, and having a ground-truthed way of reconciling the lake level measurement would be valuable in the future. There are limited resources available to undertake this work and crowd sourcing could help to fill this gap.

Community conservation at Cherry Creek holds on in high waters

Cherry Ridge Management Committee

Cherryville Days will soon upon us, and we are "winging it" and on the fly, which leaves a lot to our creative imaginations. Hanson Park will be in good shape with Cherry Creek having weathered the the ice and timber wave back in December. Hanson Park wetlands, channels and cottonwood flats worked well to absorb the excess water. Riparian brushy areas restrained the current and the 2010 stream bank stabilization project protected both public assets and private property.

The crest of the wave cleaned out log jams and sweepers in the centre, leaving flat ice floes on both banks. The upstream bend above Hanson Park was ice jammed well above the high water mark and some flood water reached the stage but generally there was very little damage to Hanson Park stream banks. As a community we are defined by Cherry Creek, as the furthest upstream community on the Shuswap River. We are living in a prairie before the canyon, an enormous bowl in the mountains formed of sediment by a glacial lake.

SILT has named a new Executive Director

Southern Interior Land Trust

Professional Biologist Al Peatt has been retained by the Southern Interior Land Trust as its Executive Director—a new direction for the 29-year-old volunteer-run organization—effective June 1. Peatt was one of the founding directors of the society, so this brings him full-circle.

Most recently, he was senior wildlife biologist for the Okanagan Nation Alliance and prior to that he worked for the B.C. Ministry of Environment in the Southern Interior through the1980s and 1990s. He was recently awarded a Fellow in Association of Professional Biology, one of only a few in B.C., by the Association of Professional Biology. This designation is reserved for members that stand as role models and bring distinction to the profession with inspiration and mentorship to other members.

With this newly-created position, Peatt will work to rejuvenate and raise the profile of the SILT, which currently owns four conservation properties: Ginty’s Pond in Cawston, Cold Creek near Keremeos, and Edwards Pond and Wards Lake at Grand Forks. SILT has also assisted in acquiring such properties as Rose Valley Regional Park, a Swan Lake wetland, productive spawning habitat on Christina Lake and vital bighorn sheep habitat on the east side of Skaha Lake. The Southern Interior Land Trust also helps to administer projects such as the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative, Ellis Creek re-naturalization and Mission Creek Restoration in collaboration with a number of other non-government organizations, governments and conservation groups. If you are interested in learning more about the organization; becoming involved in its work; donating or bequeathing land or money for conservation, email Al Peatt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thompson Okanagan Region seeks to join Biosphere destinations worldwide

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

The Thompson Okanagan Region in British Columbia Canada is a major tourism destination attracting over 3.5 million visitors and generating nearly $2 billion in direct economic impact annually. To improve tourism management and maintain the region's leadership, the President and CEO of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Glenn Mandziuk, has signed the Letter of Commitment along with the Responsible Tourism Institute headquartered out of Madrid Spain. This represents another step on the road to obtaining the Biosphere Destination Certificate, which could make Thompson Okanagan one of the 20 destinations in the world to reach this category. Over the next few months OCCP and SOSCP will be assisting TOTA with the Biosphere accreditation process by providing information on the measures related to the conservation of biodiversity and natural ecosystems.

Together with CEO Patricio Azcarate Diaz de Losada of the Responsible Tourism Institute, Mandziuk jointly signed the commitment agreement and stated, “we are blessed with an extraordinary tourism region in Canada and it is imperative that we collectively work to ensure the long-term sustainability of our social, environmental, cultural and economic ecosystems. The opportunity to be the first destination in Canada and the United States to achieve such a prestigious international designation will be a tremendous honour for the Region and recognizes our commitment to establishing a sustainability charter identified in the Thompson Okanagan 10-year Tourism Strategy entitled “Embracing our Potential”. The Biosphere Destination Certification process will be intensively worked on by TOTA and its industry and institutional partners over the next 6 months with annual performance measures established to maintain the designation if achieved for the long term.

Conferences & Workshops

Wetland Workshops

BC Wildlife Federation

Map our Marshes Workshop
Oliver | July 28 | Click here for more information

Wetlands Institute
East Kootenays | September 23-29| Click here for more information

Wetland Restoration & Invasive Species Workshop
Revelstoke | July 27 | Click here for more information
The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is hosting a free one-day wetland restoration and invasive species workshop with the BC Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Columbia Mountains Institute. This workshop will provide an overview of steps involved in restoring a wetland, including site selection, design considerations, and permitting requirements.Following morning presentations, the participants will travel to a site to receive hands-on training in wetland restoration design. Instructor Neil Fletcher is the Wetlands Education Program Manager for BC Wildlife Federation. To register, email your name and your affiliation to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 1-855-785-9333. Click here for more information.

Wild Kidz Camps
Winfield | July 17-21| Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information
Rock Creek | July 24-28| Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information

Waterwise Gardening Workshop

Sunday, June 11th 1:00-3:00pm
Vernon, BC

The Regional District of North Okanagan is sponsoring a Waterwise Gardening Workshop with Eva Antonijevic, OXA Program Director. The Regional District has set the registration fee at $10.00 per person and is sponsoring the remaining cost. To register for this workshop, or for further information, please call Greater Vernon Water at 250-550-3794

Events

First Peoples' Celebration

June 10, 11am-3pm at the Allan Brooks Nature Centre
Gather on the land that has been inhabited by the Okanagan people for tens of thousands of years and celebrate First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture through engaging activities and educational presentations. All ages are welcome for this (by donation) intergenerational event which includes plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy including: a friendship bracelet workshop, rock painting, games and storytelling in a Tipi.

Save the Date for RespectFest
September 18-24, 2017 in Vernon, BC.
RespectFest 2017 is a week-long multicultural event with four main themes: respecting our land and environment; honouring our indigenous history and roots; understanding our multicultural history, and recognizing the strengths that diversity brings to our community and nation. RespectFest is funded by the Government of Canada as part of Canada 150.

Raptor Weeks
July 18th - August 20th
Experience the thrill of an up-close encounter with the Raptors! Beginning on July 18th, Raptor Weeks at Allan Brooks Nature Centre will run daily for five consecutive weeks. All age public programs will be offered six days a week (Tuesday - Sunday). http://www.abnc.ca/get-closer-to-the-raptors-at-allan-brooks/ Experience adventure and discovery in the grasslands with hands-on activities, displays, family-oriented programs and youth camps. Raptor Encounter Courses at 10am, 3pm and 4pm daily. Live raptor flight demos daily at 11:30am, with a second presentation at 5:00pm, Fridays & Saturdays!

Become a Member and be part of an ever growing community of people keeping nature in their future. Members get free unlimited admissions and do not pay full price for programs at Allan Brooks Nature Centre throughout the season (April 15 to October 31).

ONA Ceremonial Sockeye fry releases

This season, about 230,000 Sockeye fry will be released at each release location, for a total estimated release of 680,000 fry. Look for fish transport tanker trucks at upcoming community events:

  • 1PM, June 8th at Six Mile Creek, Westside Road next to the bridge beside OKIB Community Hall
  • 1PM, June 9th and 10th at Mission Creek, next to Casorso Road bridge

Water-wise Plants for Pollinators

Tuesday, June 13th from 7:00 – 8:00pm
UnH2O Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
4075 Gordon Drive in front of the H2O Aquatic Centre

Learn about the plants that are currently in bloom and water-wise plants for pollinators. Tour leaders Gwen Steele, and Eva Antonijevic will illustrate the Seven Principles of Xeriscape (an easy guide to gardening successfully with the climate), Gwen will give a short explanation of the making of the gardens which are now in their eighth season. The gardens were created and are maintained by OXA’s staff and volunteers. There are five theme gardens in the UnH20 Garden to help gardeners select water-wise groupings of plants. Plants were chosen for long season of bloom or exceptional foliage, creating extremely colourful gardens that are always changing throughout the Okanagan growing season.

Eco-Blast is back and better than ever!

The Fresh Outlook Foundation is excited about its Eco-Blast Kids Camps in Lake Country (July 24-28) and Kelowna (August 14-18)! A partnership between FOF and the Okanagan Boys & Girls Clubs, these week-long day camps use song, dance, art, theatre and hands-on learning to teach children from 6-12 about nature. Each week culminates in a magical concert that showcases what the campers learned and created. Registration is $149, which includes all activities, supplies, lunches and snacks. We’re looking for financial support to send kids to camp whose families can’t afford the full registration fee. To help, please contact Joanne at 250-766-1777 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pollinator Picnic

Border Free Bees

We are very excited to invite you to Border Free Bee’s Pollinator Picnic to celebrate Kelowna’s very first Nectar Trail! Bring a picnic lunch and learn about bees with some child-centred crafts and music! The picnic will take place at the Summerhill Winery Heritage Lawn on Sunday June 25th from 11am to 3 pm.

The Pollinator Picnic’s purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of wild pollinators by providing an afternoon full of fun, family-friendly community activities and to celebrate the wild success of The Kelowna Nectar Trail Project. We aim to have booths and displays set up from our many community partners. There will be music and a great creation opportunity for kids and adults: A Swarm in June, a community art project with Armstrong artist Rhonda Neufeld.

Bee-Decking the Meadow: A Community Eco-Art Installation
WorkBee Series: Eco-Fibre Processing Circles
August/September 2017 (Further Details TBA)

Learn about harvesting local materials, make rope and coiled forms as contribution to the community installation, and meet new neighbours at the newly established Pollinator Pasture. Join artist Jaymie Johnson in making sculptural works resembling bumblebee nests using hand-made nettle fibre rope and coiling of pine needles and wild grasses at the Brent Grist Mill Heritage Park Pollinator Pasture. A project inspired by the mentor-ship of working with artist Sharon Kallis at the Richmond Pollinator Pasture in 2016. In collaboration with BorderFree Bees and EartHand Gleaners Society, this event series is presented by University of British Columbia Okanagan, in partnership with Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the City of Kelowna. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit jaymiejohnson.ca.

Earth, Wind and Fire Gala

The Nature Trust of British Columbia presents its 9th annual Earth Wind Fire gala event on June 24. Earth Wind Fire 2017 will be a memorable night filled with excellent wine, beer and cider, fine dining, spectacular performances, and good times for all. Sparkling Reception at 5:30 pm; ballroom doors open at 6:45 pm. The Gala takes place at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort, Kelowna. Buy tickets here or by calling 1-866-288-7878.

Make Water Work!

Did you Know:

  • There is LESS water available per person in the Okanagan than anywhere else in Canada
  • The Okanagan has one of the highest rates of water use per person in Canada
  • 24% of ALL water used in the Okanagan is used on our household lawns and gardens

Take the challenge! Evaluate your water, then take the pledge to MAKE WATER WORK

Funding Opportunities

Test and Grow Field of Interest grant

Application Deadline (Environment): June 23
The Vancouver Foundation provides Field of Interest Grants to organizations with socially innovative projects that work towards meaningful outcomes in four specific fields of interest: Arts and Culture; Education and Training; Environment and Animal Welfare; and Health and Social Development. Read more here.

Community Investment Program

Application Deadline: July 14th
Fortis offers up to 15,000 to projects that directly benefit the environment
Read more here

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

Application Deadline: July 15
Need funding for your environmental project? The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation supports a wide range of environmental initiatives, with a primary focus on environmental education and green space programs. Read more here.

Community Gaming Grant (Environment)

Applications accepted: July 1st - Aug 31
Community Gaming Grants support eligible not-for-profit organizations that deliver community programs that benefit the citizens of British Columbia. Read more here

Nature Conservancy of Canada Round 3 of Other Qualified Organizations (OQO) Program

Application Deadline: Ongoing until November 1
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce Round 3 of the Other Qualified Organizations (OQO) Program. Funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada and administered by NCC, the program will provide up to $5 million in support of conservation in communities across Canada. Land acquisitions closing between April 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018 will be considered under Round 3 of the OQO Program, and applications will be accepted until 5:00pm EST on November 1. Read more here..

Employment Opportunities

Okanagan Water Demand Model Technician

Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB)
Location: Kelowna, BC

The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) is seeking a highly motivated individual with excellent interpersonal, research, writing and organization skills to fill the position of Water Demand Model Technician, reporting to the Executive Director. We offer a competitive wage, based on qualifications. This position is made available through a Green Jobs initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), and is open to early-career professionals, up to age 30 years old. The position is a Full-time Term Position for 6-8 months. The start time is flexible between July and September.

Volunteer Opportunities

Annual Bat Count

June 1 to 21

The Okanagan Community Bat Program is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for the Annual Bat Count. This citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites. This year the Annual Bat Count will collect baseline data on bat populations before the devastating White Nose Syndrome fungal disease affects bats in the province. Volunteers wait outside a known roost site, such as a bat-house, barn, bridge or attic, and count bats as they fly out at twilight. They record the final number along with basic information on weather conditions. Ideally, 1 - 2 counts are done between June 1 and 21 before pups are born, and 1 - 2 more between July 11 and August 5 when pups are flying. For more information or to register for a bat count visit www.bcbats.ca, call 1-855-9BC-BATS ext. 13 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..