Two new grants have provided a solid financial start to the 2015 Hudson’s Bay Wetland campaign.
B.C. Nature, parent association of the Prince George Naturalists Club, and the B.C. Naturalists Foundation have repeated their 2013 grant of $2,000, providing a further $2,000 towards informational signage and community liaison.
An unexpected grant of $2,500 was received via the Calgary Foundation. The anonymous source of the funding stated that it was “to help inspire the appreciation and understanding of this region’s natural wonders.”
The 2015 work on the wetland project has already begun, with three large information signs added this week. Signs on the new observation deck on the south side of the channel cover beaver, muskrat, and birds seen around water. Another sign on the nearby information kiosk in Fort George Park covers winter birdlife. Later in the year, another trail and observation deck will be constructed on the north side of the channel just east of Queensway Street. An earthen ramp will eventually link this new trail with Fort George Park, creating another universal-access nature loop.
Future plans for 2015 and after include fundraising for an accessible trail, footbridge, boardwalks, bird blinds, an observation tower and other features, covering both sides of the Wetland between Queensway Street and Norwood Street. This is the most ambitious part of the project, requiring substantial further funding and additional community liaison.
In 2013-14 the club received a total of $43,300 in grants from Pacific Salmon Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, TransCanada, BC Nature / BC Naturalists’ Foundation, and City of Prince George Social Development Fund. REAPS and BC Nature work with the Club in applying for grants and providing charitable tax receipts. The Exploration Place provides in-kind support for Club presentations and meetings. Substantially more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work have been put into the project to date.