Guided tours will be coming to one of Nanaimo’s natural, animal-filled parks.
Buttertubs Marsh Park’s new guided tours were approved by Nanaimo’s fiscal meeting last week, giving Nature Nanaimo the go-ahead on the opportunity to guide tourists and locals through the marsh.
The tours will be hosted by retired professors who are part of their group, and student volunteers from VIU in bird courses.
“We have former professors of entomology and people who are sort of expert birders within the group,” said Doug Fraser, President of Nature Nanaimo. “The depth and breadth of knowledge within the group is really quite expensive. I think it would be great to also get some students involved, the more people we can involve the better. I don’t think we’ll have a problem finding highly qualified volunteers.”
Michael Stebbings, Executive Treasurer of Nature Nanaimo notes that their group has been involved with the marsh since the 1970s, and members are fairly familiar with all aspects of the marsh’s ecosystem.
Tours will be hosted until the end of this August. Guide-seekers will not be able to bring any furry friends on the tour, as the park is closed to dogs so they do not disturb to the natural wildlife.
“Like any sort of natural ecosystem it is very dynamic in terms of changing over time, through the seasons, and that sort of thing,” said Fraser. “So when we take birding tours, which might be highlighting certain birds that are nesting or visiting at that time, there’s also certain flowers in bloom, you know, those kinds of things that are changing. Like maybe the western painted turtles are basking on logs in the sun.”
Fraser hopes that through the tours, the public can learn more about important environmental concerns including invasive species and climate change. Both thank the mayor and council for their decision to grant funding.