Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows rivers a subject of celebration

<p>Sophie Smith and Greta Borick-Cunningham at Allco hatchery. (News files)</p> -

Sophie Smith and Greta Borick-Cunningham at Allco hatchery. (News files)

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Now that they have a place, the keepers of Kanaka Creek can talk about what they love to protect.

One of the first sessions to take place in the new Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre on 256th Street, a Bear Necessities drop-in workshop, goes this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. There people can get some tips on how to deal with what's a common appearance in Maple Ridge backyards.

The new centre, a partnership between Metro Vancouver Parks and Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society, opened in April and includes includes a multi-purpose George Ross Learning Room, a separate resource building, 'Roof-to-Creek' Learning Landscape and the Bell-Irving Hatchery.

After the bear session, the next workshop is Nov. 19 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. focusing on owls. On Dec. 3 a "Winter Warriors" workshop will talk about how animals deal with the cold weather.

But anyone can visit the centre and hatchery during operating hours. Ross Davies with KEEPS, added that people who show up at KEEPS' fish counting events at the fish fence on 240th Street and Kanaka Creek, will also be invited up to the stewardship centre.

KEEPS will be holding its fish counting events at the 240th Street location Oct. 15, 22, 29 and Nov. 5.

Some 10,000 visitors, plus students from around Metro Vancouver, already visit the hatchery each year to learn about the lifecycle of salmon and the environment needed to sustain them.

• Three river groups in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are all celebrating World Rivers Day, the last Sunday in September. KEEPS will have canoe rides and displays at Kanaka Creek Regional Park riverfront area on Lougheed Highway and Kanaka Way on Sunday, Sept. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• The Alouette River Management Society has its Ridge Meadows Rivers Day, also on Sept. 24, at the Allco Fish Hatchery, 24959 Alouette Rd., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It's a free event with displays, fishing and kids activities.

• Friends of Katzie Slough is hosting a Rivers Day canoe tour on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 13063 Harris Rd., in Pitt Meadows from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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