Something fishy is coming to Pemberton – ground breaks for the One Mile Lake Nature Centre
Veronica Woodruff loves fish.
And she loves to spread her fishy-affection around.
As the Education Coordinator for Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, she looks after the Salmonids-in-the-Classroom project, turning Sea to Sky’s human-fry into fry-fans. “We bring salmon eggs to the classroom so the kids can watch them develop from alevin to fry and be part of those life-changing events. Then they release their own fry, and know the journey they’re going to take, and come back to see the spawning in the fall.”
Her own enthusiasm is well-matched to a gang of eight year olds. Many mornings she is out at One Mile Lake taking water samples or temperature readings… “This year, there were lampreys spawning, too. All the students who released their fry at One Mile Lake saw that. And they did a bug collection while we were there. It was so cool.”
Woodruff wants more people to have a chance to feel the fishy love and to have a deeper sense of appreciation for the habitat we live in. “It’s not easy to find local information. When I’m taking temperatures at One Mile Lake, people are continually stopping me, asking me what I’m up to. People are so interested.”
She has just developed curriculum for a Stream Stewardship program that will debut in September at Pemberton Secondary School. She founded Stewardship Pemberton and partnered with the Village of Pemberton and the Pemberton Dyking District, with funding from the Pacific Salmon Foundation, to do channel work at One Mile Lake to maintain lake levels and help outsmart the beavers.
Stewardship Pemberton secured funding from BC Hydro to reconstruct the intake into One Mile Lake from Pemberton Creek, and will be building an interpretive nature trail in the north quadrant of the park, at add to the just completed fully accessible boardwalk and trail network.
This summer, Stewardship Pemberton is also breaking ground on a brand new Nature Centre to be build at One Mile Lake, across the pedestrian bridge from the community garden.
The Nature Centre will have a small aquarium and hatchery to incubate eggs for the Salmonid in the Classroom projects. Interpretive signage, a covered deck with picnic tables, and a window into the aquarium will give people a chance to enjoy the space and learn more about the ecology of One Mile Lake, even when the centre isn’t staffed.
Construction on the 600 square foot building is set for completion in the fall, as the coho return. The first breeding pair of coho can then move into their lovely new Nature Centre mid-November.