On Sunday, February 3, SPES put on a party for the community to celebrate 25 years of connecting people with nature and working for wildlife here in Vancouver’s favorite urban wilderness, Stanley Park. Almost 200 people came out on a cold, grey day to celebrate SPES. It was lovely to hear from our community about what SPES has meant and continues to mean to them.
About 50 people participated in interpretive walks around Lost Lagoon and then returned to the Nature House to enjoy a slice of cake and an opportunity to make a craft out of invasive English ivy that had been pulled by SPES’s ecological stewardship volunteers. There were many highlights indeed; including some city councilors and other local politicians who came to say a few words and show their support, but for me the absolute highlight was a short speech from a young boy who credits SPES with starting him out on his life’s greatest passion, birds. Liron Gertsman is 12 years old and he has been a volunteer with our bird monitoring programs since he was 10! There was more than one SPES staff member who had a bit of trouble holding back emotion as we heard how much these programs mean to Liron. What a great reminder that our work is more important now than ever before, so here’s to the next 25 years of connecting an increasingly urbanized population to nature. Thank you for coming out to celebrate with us Vancouver!