All ages are welcome to join with the school community at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary School for our first-ever “Salmon Day” on Thursday, Sept. 22 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. The event, a celebration of all things salmon, will be the public premiere of a beautiful salmon-themed mural on the front of the school created by local artist Tracy Kobus. Salmon Day will also feature live music and refreshments, displays from organizations including DFO and Morrison Creek Streamkeepers, a smokehouse on site with fish prepared by members of the Komok’s First Nations, and a spawning tour of Morrison Creek. The creek, one of the most active spawning streams in the Comox Valley, is a naturally stocked ‘indicator stream’ that reflects the health of several fish species. Pinks are expected in any day, and we hope their arrival will coincide with the event so everyone can see spawning in action.
Also starting at 2:30 p.m., the public is welcomed in to explore the Open House at Puntledge School, a showcase of salmon-focused displays the students have created through the week.
Tracy Kobus’ mural celebrates the natural beauty of Puntledge’s unique school grounds, and depicts coho spawning in Morrison Creek as it flows past the school in a setting of maples and Douglas fir, along with ravens, tree frogs and the Morrison Creek lamprey, a protected species exclusive to this waterway. A totem pole image acknowledges the school’s thriving aboriginal education program, based on the pole created by master carver Calvin Hunt at the airport roundabout. The mural blends naturally into its environment, and is meant to nurture appreciation for the salmon’s life cycle and build awareness for future conservation.
Salmon Day activities will be rain or shine – displays will be moved inside in poor weather, but please bring your rain gear for the creek spawning tour. We recommend parking in the neighbourhood to walk on to the school grounds at 401 Willemar, Courtenay (or park on Embleton, and walk across the little bridge over the Creek).
This project is an initiative of the Community Arts Workshop Society, and made possible by the generous support of Cloverdale Paint, Benjamin Moore House of Color, SD71’s Aboriginal Education program, Rotary Club of Courtenay, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, Morrison Creek Stream Keepers, and the Ecole Puntledge Park PAC.
For more information, contact the school at EcolePuntledge.ca.