Strathcona Wilderness Institute celebrates 20 years

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute hosts a 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday.

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute will be celebrating its 20-year anniversary at Paradise Meadows on Saturday.

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute will be celebrating its 20-year anniversary at Paradise Meadows on Saturday.

The Strathcona Wilderness Institute invites the public and people from the past who have been part of the success of this organization to a special 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Aug 29 from 2-4 p.m. at its information centre at the Paradise Meadows trailhead.

There will be a short slide show, refreshments and birthday cake.

The celebration will honour the founding directors whose inspiration and planning gave birth to the institute, and all those who have volunteered countless hours over the years to fulfil the mission to foster wilderness values in B.C.’s first provincial park, Strathcona.

The mission of the non-profit SWI is to inspire awareness, appreciation and stewardship of the natural world through education and participation. It was officially registered in 1995, the idea emerging from a symposium — Where the Wild Things Are — hosted by the Friends of Strathcona Park in 1992.

The institute works through a cooperative agreement with BC Parks at two locations in Strathcona Park – the Wilderness Centre at Paradise Meadows and the Buttle Lake Information Hut – offering a range of programs and publications for visitors.

The Wilderness Centre, constructed through donations of individuals and corporations, opened in 2009/2010. Activities are conducted by volunteers, with help from Canada Summer Jobs for Students. Fundraising continues to be crucial.

Last year, the centre had over 10,000 visitors, about 70 per cent from beyond the Valley, including seven per cent from overseas.

A new projects is the TrailRider program that involves a special wheelchair that allows people with disabilities to access trails beyond the boardwalk.

For more information call 250-336-2460.