A participant of the ARMS Bees, Birds, Bears, Bugs, and Butterflies event builds a birdhouse. (Alouette River Management Society/Facebook)

A participant of the ARMS Bees, Birds, Bears, Bugs, and Butterflies event builds a birdhouse. (Alouette River Management Society/Facebook)

Family event teaches children about bees, birds, bears, bugs, and butterflies

The next big event planned by the Alouette River Management Society is Rivers Day

Children of all ages had the opportunity to learn about bees, birds, bears, bugs, and butterflies at a recent event at Allco Park in Maple Ridge.

About 23 people attended the event put on by the Alouette River Management Society, ARMS.

The event was part of the Alouette Pollinators – Birds, Bees, and Butterflies Project – a project focused on creating awareness and educational opportunities for the community to learn about local pollinators and how to help provide suitable habitat use areas for them.

Children built chickadee homes, described Greta Borick-Cunningham, with ARMS. They also had the opportunity to spin honey from the ARMS bee hives, pot it, and purchase it if they wanted to.

There was an aquatic, invertebrate bug study where the ARMS summer students took samples from the Alouette River and put the little bugs into ice cube trays. Then participants were able to look at the bugs under a microscope and learn about which bugs indicate the river is clean, and which ones indicate the river is not clean.

Dan Mikolay, coordinator of Maple Ridge division of WildSafeBC, talked about being aware of cougars and bears in and around our communities.

READ MORE: Bear sightings in Maple Ridge

Participants also painted wooden butterflies for a mural that is expected to be put up along the Allco Fish Fence in the next couple of weeks.

Linda Peters, a representative of the David Suzuki Foundation Butterflyway Rangers, brought about 30 pollinator-friendly plants for participants to take home.

The next event ARMS is planning for, is Rivers Day in September.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge gardener rallying community to create a ‘butterflyway’

“Even with things opening up, we’re not going to have anything like we would normally run down here. We will not be running anything at the hatchery until further notice,” explained Borick-Cunningham.

“We are hoping to run a similar type of family-friendly, smaller event at Allco Park,” she said.

Rivers Day is on Sunday, Sept. 26.

Borick-Cunningham is hoping to be able to open up the event to more people, given the current relaxation of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

People will still have to register to attend, once the event registration opens up.


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A participant of the ARMS Bees, Birds, Bears, Bugs, and Butterflies event learns about making honey. (Alouette River Management Society/Facebook)

A participant of the ARMS Bees, Birds, Bears, Bugs, and Butterflies event learns about making honey. (Alouette River Management Society/Facebook)

Participants of the ARMS Bees, Birds, Bears, Bugs, and Butterflies event at Allco Park. (Alouette River Management Society/Facebook)

Participants of the ARMS Bees, Birds, Bears, Bugs, and Butterflies event at Allco Park. (Alouette River Management Society/Facebook)