The Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation is more than just a beautiful building, it is a vibrant year-round education, research and tourism centre for Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park and the residents of the Slave Lake region.
Staff from the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory Society (LSLBO), Alberta Parks and our program partners have worked tirelessly to establish well recognized, high quality education and outreach programs that are enjoyed by our community and beyond. Since the centre opened in 2006, over 100,000 participants have enjoyed the year-round education and community outreach programs to learn more about importance of the boreal forest and the birds who depend on it.
Due to recent budget cuts, Alberta Parks has notified the LSLBO that they will be closing the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation facility to the public during the winter as a cost cutting measure. The centre will be closed for public access at the end of September, and reopen again in April. Funding provided by Alberta Parks to the LSLBO Society to support the delivery of education programs and visitor services at the centre will be reduced by 50% from $70,000 to $35,000 per year.
Last year, the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation provided almost 100 winter programs to over 2200 participants! Half of our visitors are now coming in the winter as demand for new programs keeps growing. Education and community outreach impacted by the winter closure of the Boreal Centre include:
- Special events for families such as Halloween at the BOOreal Centre, Winter Fun Day, and Frost Fest
- Curriculum-based Education Programs during a time when COVID will actually be increasing demand for our programs by families/teachers seeking support for online learning and safe outdoor learning experiences.
- Winter program opportunities for local community organizations
- Easy access to Cross-County Ski and Snowshoe equipment during drop-in visits by local residents
The LSLBO is extremely proud of the programs and services that we deliver for our local community, regional schools, academic researchers, and our many stakeholders. This centre is a model of how an innovative partnership between government, a non-profit society and our dedicated stakeholders can develop and deliver high quality services and programs for our region in a very cost effective and adaptable way. But more importantly, we are proud of the connections that we have made with so many of our local families, teachers and students! All of our partners have worked hard to build these wonderful programs at the Boreal Centre and we don’t want to loose our momentum now.
So we need your help to keep our winter programs for the families and children in our region.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Time is of the essence. We encourage you to contact our government officials and express your strong support for the year-round education and community programs that happen at the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation. Our winter programs, special events and winter recreation opportunities are vitally important for our community especially for local families, teachers and students. They need to hear from you!
You can download this Community letter of support and adapt it for your needs.
Please send your concerns to:
Minister of Environment and Parks, Jason Nixon
Phone: 780 427-2391
Fax: 780 422-6259
Lesser Slave Lake MLA, Pat Rehn
Phone: 825 219-1000
Fax: 780 849-4132
Alberta Parks Northwest Regional Director, Calvin McLeod
Phone: 780 538-8010
Fax: 780 538-5617
You can also contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-849-8235 for more information on how you can do to help support our winter programs.
Thank you for your support
Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory