The Columbia Valley wetlands is a 180-kilometre area from Canal Flats to Duncan BC, one of the longest systems of continuous wetlands in North America and one of the few remaining intact portions of the Pacific flyway, essential to migrating birds. Because there is no other place on the planet like it, the wetlands was chosen as a Ramsar ‘Wetlands of International Significance’ in 2005.
Over 300 species of birds breed each year in British Columbia, more than any other province in Canada, and 65 of those species breed only in British Columbia. Over 265 bird species have been recorded in the wetlands to date. Situated in a grassy plain along the Columbia River, amid tall forests and mountain meadows, it has been called the ‘Serengeti of the North.’
This year’s Wings Over the Rockies festival is based upon the theme Webs & Roots: Talk About Networking!.
Special guest and keynote speaker at the gala celebration will be ecologist Dr. Suzanne Simard, who while researching her doctoral thesis discovered that trees use a network of soil fungi to communicate their needs and send each other nutrients through a network of roots and web-type fungi buried in the soil. Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and is a groundbreaking researcher who studies the astonishing complexity and symbiotic relationships in forest and other ecosystems.
The seven days of the Wings Over the Rockies festival are jam-packed with events from which people can discover the world of Birds, Bats, Bears and Beyond. You can take an early morning guided nature walk, canoe or kayak on the Columbia River or in the wetlands, take a field trip or two or go horseback riding in the grasslands.
There are art exhibitions, evening presentations, workshops, ‘bird-a-thons’ and even a gala banquet with a silent auction. An impressive list of presenters such as biologists, naturalists and conservationists lead the field trips and five informative presentations, combining education with pure enjoyment of the magnificent surroundings. It all adds up to Wings Over the Rockies being one of the most enjoyable festivals of the year in the Columbia Valley BC.
The full program for the festival is now published on the Wings website. Spaces in most of the events are limited so it is recommended that you register early. Registration starts on April 9.
For more information about the Wings Over The Rockies festival, visit the website at http://www.wingsovertherockies.org/