Monday, June 26, 2023

Partnership for North Coast Ecology Society and Prince Rupert Port Authority brought latest phase of Ecology Centre vision to Cow Bay Area waterfront

The ecological diversity and richness of the North Coast region is now on full display with the Opening of the North Coast Ecology Centre at the Lax Süüda Container Marketplace along the Promenade below Pacific Mariners Memorial Park.

Last week we outlined some of the details of the newest space for locals and visitors to explore, which came together through a partnership of the NCECS and the Community Investment Fund at the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

An update today on the launch  of the new showcase on the Promenade highlights how the container project builds on the success of NCECS’ previous collaboration with PRPA to operate a Pop-up Aquarium inside PRPA’s Northland Cruise Terminal in summer 2021, which welcomed 3,200 visitors over the course of 16 days. 

The popularity of that initial public exhibit helped strengthen the partnership between the two organizations and reinforce the value and viability of this new education facility and what it offers to the community. 

The total cost for developing the new North Coast Ecology Centre project was $66,684, including $33,342 from the Community Investment Fund.  

The new Ecology Centre features hands-on exhibits and static displays that highlight local terrestrial, marine, and freshwater species and their habitats, and explains some of the conservation efforts taken to protect them. 

Visitors will be able to see local flora and fauna up close in professionally designed aquariums and terrariums set up inside the container. On high-traffic days, some displays will be brought outdoors, where both volunteers and staff will help people of all ages learn about what makes Pacific north coast ecosystems unique.

Caitlin Birdsall, North Coast Ecology Centre Society Chair, observed how the new centre is a building block towards the vision for a permanent space in the community.

“We are grateful for the Community Investment Fund’s support to achieve this vision. This new Ecology Centre represents a significant step toward realizing our organization’s ultimate goal of opening a permanent ecological education centre in Prince Rupert in the future.”

For PRPA Chair and CEO Shaun Stevenson, the scope of the initiative was one that aligned with the Port's  goals of sustainability.

“We commend the North Coast Ecology Centre Society for bringing this project forward to help create a new asset for our community that supports education and tourism in an accessible way. This initiative directly aligns with the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s commitment to sustainability through environmental stewardship and upholds our shared values by supporting a better understanding of the environment that surrounds us, so that we may work together to help preserve it.”

More background on what the new space looks like and what's available for the public to explore can be reviewed here.

The Centre is open to the public from Thursday- Sunday's from 9AM to 4PM as well on all Cruise Ship call days through to September.

Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children, and $20 for families. Season passes are also available for locals who’d like to visit multiple times this summer. 

The Society also notes that Free passes will be available for check out at the local library, and a sponsored free weekend will also occur later this summer.

To keep up with events and other notes for the Centre container space, follow the North Coast Ecology Society Social media stream.

More notes on Tourism across the Northwest can be reviewed here.

Past use of the PRPA Community Investment Fund can be explored here.

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