Amira Strain is the Alberni Valley coordinator for WildSafe BC. She is also the new manager at the Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre, as of September 2020. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Port Alberni’s ‘BC Goes Wild’ event will take visitors to the Lookout

Scavenger hunt for kids, bear safety information for adults all part of Sept. 19 hike

WildSafeBC coordinator Amira Strain will host a BC Goes Wild event in Port Alberni on Saturday, Sept. 19. This year’s event will be a hike to the Alberni Lookout, at the north end of the city.

“BC Goes Wild is an event WildSafeBC holds every year,” said Strain, who is the new Alberni Valley coordinator. “This is their fifth year now. It’s to get the community engaged outside and to pay attention to wildlife and how we live with it.”

There will be WildSafe Ranger prizes for kids who complete a scavenger hunt during the hike. People are asked to gather at the gravel parking area between Coombs Country Candy and the Lookout trailhead before 1 p.m. Pre-registration is not necessary, however, there will only be room for 20 hikers. Participants are asked to wear sturdy walking shoes, bring a water bottle and snacks and to also bring a mask.

The hike should take about 40 minutes each way, and is considered a moderate hike, Strain said. The terrain is uneven and steep. For more information, e-mail Strain at albernivalley@wildsafebc.com, or visit the website at wildsafebc.com.

The day will include a safety presentation for adults on the use of bear spray, although no spray will be involved, Strain said.

(She will be holding a bear spray workshop on Saturday, Oct. 3. Interested parties may inquire about signing up on the City of Port Alberni’s parks and recreation website, playinpa.ca.)

Strain has been the WildSafeBC coordinator for Port Alberni since the summer. Hers is a new position for Port Alberni, she explains. “It was still Bear Aware and Bear Smart, 10 years ago,” and although there were local spokespeople, the organization was based elsewhere. “This is the first time they’ve had a community coordinator in the Valley.”

Bear Smart was reorganized and renamed WildSafeBC. The name was created to encompass a wider range of wildlife vs. human conflict resolution, Strain explained.

More information can be found on their website at wildsafebc.com.

Strain was born and raised in the Alberni Valley.

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictPort AlberniWildlife

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