Organizers of the Creston Valley Bird Fest walked out of the Nov. 27 Creston town council meeting with another $1,000 in the coffers after receiving a start-up grant for the 2013 inaugural event.
Project planner Tanna Patterson said Bird Fest was inspired by a family visit to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia and Florida last year.
“We learned that there are 300 bird species in the Okefenokee,” Patterson told council. “When we came back home I did a little checking and found that that the Creston Valley has about 300 bird species, too. Not all at one time, maybe, but through the course of a year.”
Bird Fest is starting small, Patterson said, with evening events scheduled for May 10 and activities throughout May 11, which is also International Migratory Bird Day. Operating as a committee of the Creston Valley branch of Wildsight, the festival’s goal is “to encourage environmental awareness for young and old with support from the community.”
Patterson said Bird Fest will kick off with a welcome reception on May 10, to be followed with an Owl Prowl. On May 11, a variety of events are scheduled, including 10 tours to different locations around the valley, each led by a field expert.
A large variety of other activities are also in the planning stages. On May 11, keynote speaker Brian Keating will present “Going High: Two Spirit-lifting Journeys.”
After a brief discussion, council voted unanimously (Couns. Tanya Ducharme and Wesly Graham were absent) to contribute $1,000 from a discretionary fund.
“I want to make this a start-up contribution, not an ongoing commitment,” Coun. Judy Gadicke said.
Directors of Regional District of Central Kootenay areas A, B and C have committed $500 each and other grants are in the application stage, Patterson said. Sponsorships in the form of in-kind donations are already in place.