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Effort well underway to bring a nature centre to the Cow Bay estuary

Eco-minded citizens continue raising money Sunday toward building the valley’s first indoor nature centre in Cowichan Bay.

Members of The Land Trust and the Estuary Nature Centre Committee will host a Burger and Beer Night, and silent auction, between 5 and 8 p.m. at the Bay Pub.

Proceeds join some $15,000 already raised toward $35,000 needed by Aug. 15 to help leverage about $300,000 in taxpayer grants applied for respectively from the Island Coastal Economic Trust, and the West Coast Community Adjustment Program. The centre — possibly a school portable — is targeted for Crown land near Hecate Park, bay Director Lori Iannidinardo said.

If funds are gained, the regional board aims to assume the site’s remaining three–year lease from Victoria, she noted.

The idea of the centre, said Cowichan Land Trust member Jane Kilthei — who donated $6,000 from her recent birthday bash — is to educate folks about the bay’s unique ecosystem offering birding and wildlife viewing.

“I wanted to help protect the estuary and raise awareness of this treasure in our front yard.”

Benefit tickets are $20 from the Cowichan Land Trust (250-746-0227), Cowichan Bay Kayak & Outfitters (250-748-2333), and Volume One Bookstore (250-748-1533).

Visit estuary@naturecowichan.net.

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