New visitors centre opens at Ellis Bird Farm

A new 3,500-square-foot building will make a world of difference at the Ellis Bird Farm.

A new 3,500-square-foot building will make a world of difference at the Ellis Bird Farm.

The official opening of the new visitors centre at the rural educational centre took place on Friday. The new facility offers a dedicated indoor space, something that Ellis Bird Farm manager and biologist Myrna Pearman said will greatly improve the programming they can offer.

“One of the problems we’ve always had is we’ve never had space to go to when the weather is poor,” said Pearman. “We’ve tried to host events and we’ve been limited by shelter.

“Now we have a nice big building we can host events and do our school programs in.”

With the help of about $450,000 in donations from MEGlobal and $200,000 in donations and in-kind contributions, the building took 12 weeks to get up.

Ken Wigmore, Lacombe County councillor, new visitor centre project manager and Ellis Bird Farm board chair, said that was pretty quick.

“It will give us more space to do our school programs and host different events,” said Wigmore, adding the long-term hope is the building can provide year-round uses for the bird farm. Currently the bird farm is open from the Victoria Day long weekend to Labour Day every summer.

A large number of Central Alberta businesses also contributed to the construction.

In appearance it is similar to a community hall, with a kitchen and large open area and smaller rooms. A counter to the right of the front door is where the future reception area will be, with a room behind the counter to be the home of the future gift shop.

About 1,200 school children attend various programming during the school year, and summer programs attract more visitors to the site.

Throughout the summer, the Ellis Bird Farm will offer numerous workshops, day camps and school programs. Most of the educational programs are done outside.

In the long term, the plan is to use the old visitors centre for workshops and smaller events and have the new building as the main visitors centre.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Pearman. “We can now take our time and develop it, develop our exhibits and decide how best we are going to use the space.”

Just Posted

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a… Continue reading

Inflation accelerates as higher airfares, vegetable prices offset cheaper gas

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to two per cent last… Continue reading

Alberta couple wants cash and charges dropped in meningitis death of their son

CALGARY — An Alberta couple facing a second trial in the meningitis… Continue reading

Moose Jaw wants to challenge Norway for tallest moose statue title

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The City of Moose Jaw, Sask., is on… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make… Continue reading

SXSW to screen ‘Run This Town,’ which includes Rob Ford character

TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto… Continue reading

Fans buy ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star’s memorabilia

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More than 200 items belonging to “Little House… Continue reading

Paying down debt should be priority for low income workers, say experts

TORONTO — Investment planning can often be seen as a luxury for… Continue reading

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

B.C. minister fears money laundering involves billions of dollars, cites reports

The government had estimated that it was a $200-million a year operation, instead estimates now peg the problem at $1 billion annually

Most Read