Today’s Poll

Eco-Camp and RedFish Festival highlight activities at Kokanee Visitors Centre

By Contributor
June 3rd, 2013

It’s not too early to plan for a five-day Eco-camp and many other fun activities for kids and adults at the Kokanee Creek Park Visitors Centre.

This year the centre opens daily on June 29, from 9 am-9 pm through the Labour Day weekend.

“We’re very excited to be offering a week long kids Eco-camp this year for 8-12 year olds from July 22-26 at the park,” said the Centre’s director Mel Reasoner.

“In the mornings well known  naturalist-educator Monica Nissen will be teaching the kids about conservation through games, hikes and art. In the afternoon aboriginal educator Toni Appleby will be sharing her knowledge with fun classes on rawhide rattles, medicine wheels, pine needle basketry and a lot more,” said Reasoner.

Space is limited, he said, urging parents to sign up early by contacting the EcoSociety or Monica Nissen directly at

The Centre will be presenting evening naturalist programs as well as other popular kids programs during the day, such as Jerry’s Rangers, and kids art classes like Drawing from Nature and Nature’s Notebooks Tuesday evening.

Morning yoga at the centre will continue three days a week he added.

“We had more than 11,000 visitors at the centre last year,” Reasoner said. “We’re looking for another great year of learning about conservation through fun activities for campers and residents. A couple favourites are Storytelling in the Park on Saturday nights and Science in the Park on Tuesday nights.”

Capping the season will be the second annual RedFish Festival on Sunday,  August 25. This afternoon event celebrates the return of the Kokanee salmon  at the park’s spawning channel with guided tours, kids events, food and music.

“We couldn’t believe the turnout last year,” said Reasoner. “This is definitely an event we want to continue. It’s a great way to learn about the value of the salmon, their role in the ecosystem and  what we can do to protect them.”

The West Kootenay EcoSociety began running the Kokanee Visitors Centre in 2011 with the generous support of the Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Friends of West Kootenay Parks, BC Conservation Foundation and BC Parks, with additional help from the Osprey Foundation this year for the camp,  hundreds of volunteer hours and local private businesses, he said.

“This has been a real coming together of partners,” said Reasoner. “No one wanted to see the centre close, and we’re very grateful for continued support.” 

Look for a weekly schedule to be posted at and, Reasoner said.

Photo caption: Naturalist Olivia Van Jarrett snuggles up to the ever popular Jerry the Moose at the RedFish Festival in 2012.

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