Creatures of the Night, one of SPES’ longest running programs, returned to the Stanley Park Ghost Train plaza for another season! After enjoying the fabulous “Day of the Dead” miniature train ride, Ghost Train visitors had the opportunity to learn about Stanley Park’s nocturnal animals, from the playful river otter to the elusive flying squirrel. With a variety of games and animal props, we connected Ghost Train visitors to the nature that is all around them.
This year, Creatures of the Night had a new twist! In addition to educating children and families about the Park’s nighttime critters, an incredible team of volunteers spread awareness about the ecological impacts of light pollution. Ghost Train visitors were invited to step into our interactive light learning station and protect nocturnal animals from light pollution.
Animals and ecosystems have evolved over billions of years with the cycle of night and day, and now humans have lit up the night with our cities, highways, and industrial sites. Light pollution is just one of the ways that being so close to an urban center like Vancouver places pressure on Stanley Park’s ecosystems. Stanley Park is not an isolated island. Light pollution travels from our city lights all the way into the Park, and the animals from the Park travel from their forest homes into the city. We encouraged Ghost Train visitors to be aware of light pollution in their own neighborhoods and homes and take steps to minimize it, such as using low wattage bulbs, closing the blinds, or limiting outdoor lighting.
We had a wonderful October interacting with thousands of tourists and Vancouver locals. We look forward to more educational fun next year!
By Julia Roe, Creatures of the Night Coordinator
We are grateful for the support from: