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Posted: May 25, 2017

Streams and Creatures in Kimberley

The next two Thursday evenings the Kimberley Platzl will be filled with water.

Exploration of our local water, that is, via a Stream Trailer and Creature Crafting. These are the second and third evenings in Mainstreams’ five part spring series, celebrating the Mark Creek watershed, the water which sustains us in so many ways as a community.

Last week almost 40 people came out for a sunny evening walk as Dave Quinn led the group through a fact-filled journey along Mark Creek. Exploring the history and biology of the watershed, everyone left humbled with new perspectives of this vital waterway in our backyard.

This Thursday, May 25, from 6:30 – 8 p.m., Patti Kolesnichenko will be leading the evening with the Stream Trailer at the Platzl Gazebo. Some may have seen this portable, hydraulically powered sandbox in local classrooms, festivals or last fall at the Open Gate Garden. By shaping the sand, controlling water flow and using various props, it is a living laboratory for exploring erosion and the importance of riparian vegetation.

“It’s always fun to play in the sandbox, but it is just as much fun to see how water shapes landscapes”, says Kolesnichenko, “We can view a model of our watershed like flying overhead in an airplane and see the impacts of weather in the Kimberley watershed”.

Patty Kolesnichenko is a professional educator with a BSc and over 20 years of experience in outdoor education. Also certified through Streamkeepers and CABIN (Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network), she is passionate about water. Seamlessly weaving a lot of information into these fun and creative activities, she is highly skilled at adapting the program to fit a wide range of ages, engaging small children to adults.

She will also lead the following Thursday evening, June 1 from 6:30 – 8pm upstairs at the Kimberley Library. Creature Crafting is a very hands-on program, incorporating fun dress-up and crafting with the goal of ‘getting under the skin’ of macro invertebrates that live in streams.

Macro invertebrates are organisms without backbones and visible to the eye without a microscope. They are sensitive to changes in their environment and for that reason important in any kind of water monitoring program. If they are healthy and abundant, there is a good chance the water is healthy too.

Up close, these exotic creatures range from quirky to funny, creepy to beautiful. Since they are pretty small in real life, tiny features become a lot more interesting by dressing up in human size. Then with clay and other materials, everyone will create their own version to take home. “Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these critters is that each of their unique features is an adaptation to local conditions,” says Kolesnichenko.

Free and open to all ages, hopefully the whole family can come out together.

For more information on these and upcoming events, check out the Mainstreams Facebook page. If you prefer, for questions call Shannon at (250)427-7981.

These events are made possible because of funding from the RBC Blue Water Fund, Fortis BC and the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council.


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