The Goldstream Provincial Park’s Nature House has reopened its doors to the public.
The nature education centre has been operating for decades, teaching visitors and school groups about nature, animals and history around the park.
It closed its doors about three years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Although it could have opened again with the lifting of restrictions, the BC Parks Foundation said it didn’t have enough funds to operate.
“Really, the challenge was just for the park operator to keep it running and the cost of doing it all,” foundation CEO, Andy Day, said.
Day told CHEK News the foundation teamed up with the park operator and the province to help fund and operate the house.
“We can’t let this place go under like a lot of facilities,” Day explained. “We are thrilled we are able to keep this place open because it’s a place of memories, learning and understanding for so many people.”
On Thursday, the province announced it was contributing $10 million to the BC Parks Foundation.
This funding aims to strengthen BC Parks across the province and support education opportunities like the nature house.
“This $10 million contribution further ensures the foundation’s long-term sustainability, so that together we can preserve many more of the most beautiful places and unique ecosystems in B.C., for our children, our grandchildren and for generations to come,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
The Goldstream Nature House provides a number of hands-on activities, movies and educational displays for all to learn and better connect with the area.
For years, local schools have brought classes to the centre to better connect their classroom learning with real life.
Alison West, a grade two teacher at Hillcrest Elementary, said it especially helps with science lessons.
“I really appreciate these programs that are being offered. They are the things I think children remember and are extremely meaningful,” West explained. “I look forward each year to trying to arrange field trips.
The Nature House will operate through this summer and fall. Hours are expected to vary daily and can be checked online.
Over the winter months, Day said staff will work to update and revitalize the centre’s activities and displays for future visitors.