Celebrate Somenos is a family friendly open-house style event held each year on the Somenos Marsh boardwalk and at other locations around the Valley. It is the perfect time to visit the marsh for the first time or the hundredth time because we stock it full of all local experts who are itching to share their knowledge about the special ecosystems that make this place precious. See below for events schedule and talk and tours descriptions. It looks like we’ll be in for a beautiful day so come out and join the fun!
*New this year – kids can be entered to win a pair of Bushnell binoculars and a bird book if they take part in three presentations and collect three unique stamps. Pick up your Swamp Stamp Card at the welcome table on Saturday.
|CELEBRATE SOMENOS EVENTS SCHEDULE||Somenos Boardwalk and Open Air Classroom||Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area||Cowichan Bay Estuary Nature Centre|
|Wildlife photography with Barry Hetschko (10am-2pm)||Cattail weaving activity with Maria Curtis (10am-2pm)||Somenos Marsh Conservation Area with Paul Fletcher (10am-2pm)|
|10:30 am||Birds of prey with the Pacific Raptors Center (10:30am-11:30pm)||Western toads with Shari Willmott(10:30-12pm)||Garry oak ecosystem tour with Tracy Fleming and Mena Williams (10:30am-12:00pm)|
|11:00 am||Salmon in the Somenos with Dave Preikshot (11am-1pm)|
|12:00 pm||Birding in the bay with the Cowichan Valley Naturalists (12pm-2pm)|
|1:00 pm||Birding on the boardwalk with Derrick Marven (1pm-2pm)|
|2:00 pm||End of Celebrate Somenos|
Tour and Talk Descriptions
Wildlife Photography with Barry Hetschko: Learn about the principles, techniques and equipment you can use to get great nature shots from well-known local nature photographer Barry Hetschko. B.Y.O.Camera for pointers.
Cattail weaving activity with Maria Curtis: Maria Curtis, longtime weaver, will be leading a kid’s activity in which participants can create a small mat or bracelet. Also learn about upcoming basket weaving workshops.
Somenos Marsh Conservation Area with Paul Fletcher: Join Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society co-founder to learn about the last 25 years of exciting marsh history including recent changes in land ownership and the ongoing conservation zoning process.
Birds of Prey with the Pacific Raptors Center: Join the Pacific Raptor Centre crew for an exciting talk about marsh predators! They will be bringing a bird of prey with them so this is a great chance to get up close with one of these stunning birds and get all your birds of prey questions answered.
Western toads with Shari Willmott (10:30-12pm): Join this local amphibian enthusiast to learn about local frogs, salamanders and toads!! Information about the exciting Cowichan Valley toad tracking project will also be available.
Salmon in the Somenos with Dave Preikshot: This local fisheries biologist will fill you in on all the details of Somenos as critical salmon habitat. He will also speak to the citizen-science water quality monitoring project which is ongoing in Somenos.
Garry Oak Tour with Cowichan Tribes Elder Mena Williams and Plant Ecologist Tracy Fleming: Learn about one of Canada’s most endangered ecosystems right here in Cowichan. The guides will give you a walking tour of the Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area sure to intrigue and inspire guests of all ages.
Birding on the Boardwalk: Join long-time Cowichan Valley birder Derrick Marven for the popular Birding on the Boardwalk event. Derrick will be stationed on the Somenos boardwalk to talk birds with all who join him. B.Y.O.Binoculars if possible.
Birding in the Bay: Join the Cowichan Valley Naturalists for Birding in the Bay from the viewing tower platform near the Cowichan Bay Estuary Nature Centre (also open to visitors). Spotting scope and binoculars will be available for birdwatchers.
How to get there:
Somenos Boardwalk: From Duncan head North on the TCH. About 1km past Beverly corners pull off to the right at the Somenos Boardwalk and Open Air Classroom. ***Please note that parking will be very limited so do your best to bike, walk or carpool
Somenos Garry Oak Protected Area: Head East on Trunk Rd from the TCH. Turn left on Lakes Rd. Turn left at Trillium Tce. Turn left on York. Rd and drive to the cul-de-sac at the end. This is the meeting spot for the Garry Oak Protected Area tour.
Cowichan Bay Estuary Nature Centre: From Duncan head south on the TCH. Turn left on Cowichan Bay Rd. Turn right and stay on Cowichan Bay Rd. Follow this into Cowichan Bay Village, the nature centre will be on the left.