The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority has arranged for the demolition of the Wildlife Interpretive Centre to begin shortly after the Thanksgiving Day weekend. The 5,700-square foot Centre came into operations in the mid-1970’s and for more than 40 years the building was the scene of hundreds of community activities and environmental education and awareness programs, exhibits and displays. Thousands of school students and adults participated in the activities and the building drew thousands of visitors to the valley every year.
The Centre, which no longer met public use standards, was closed in the fall of 2017 and plans for a new Centre have been underway thanks to the efforts of the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre Society, a charitable non-profit society. The Society stepped in to continue the educational programs and activities and, with funding provided by the Columbia Basin Trust, established a small building to serve as a visitors’ centre and facilitate small class activities until a new “Discovery Centre” is constructed. The Wildlife Area continues to attract thousands of visitors and the educational programs and activities continue to serve and inspire people of all ages.
The Creston Valley Wildlife Area is an internationally recognized wetland under the Ramsar Wetlands Convention, an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. A pre-design study funded by the B.C. Rural Development Fund resulted in the KCDC Society choosing a site that is consistent with the principles established by the RAMSAR Secretariat’s Handbook on the Best Practices for Planning, Design and Operation of Wetland Education Centres (2014). Once the demolition is complete, the Society will begin the complex work involved in moving the project forward. Progress can be followed on the Discovery Centre website: www.discovery-centre.ca
The Society intends to preserve and incorporate some of the exhibits and displays from the previous Centre into the Discovery Centre.
PLEASE NOTE! Pedestrian access from the parking lot to the trails will be closed during the demolition period. People should use the Balancing Rock Trail parking lot and access the trails from the north or south of the visitor centre. Access will re-open in spring. A bridge will need to be put in place to re-connect the parking lot trail to the boardwalk and bird tower trails.