The doors swing open on Quebec’s new Wild Bird Conservation Centre
PHOTO BY DAVID MAY – STUDIO MAY
(Left to right): Susan Wylie, Executive Director Le Nichoir, Peter Schiefke MP for Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Marie-Claude Nichols MNA Vaudreuil, Jean Lalonde MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges Prefect.
With the sun shining and many of Le Nichoir’s donors looking on, Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols cut the green ribbon opening the new building associated with Le Nichoir’s Wild Bird Conservation Centre project.
“It’s fantastic to be celebrating Le Nichoir’s 20th anniversary by moving into this amazing new facility” says Executive Director Susan Wylie. “For the last 20 years Le Nichoir has been providing professional and compassionate care to injured and orphaned wild birds from a barn built in 1837. We are all very attached to our old barn but it was a rising challenge to offer care to the ever-increasing number of birds being brought to the centre. The design of the new building incorporates our 20 years of experience caring for wild birds.”
Studio MMA, a Montreal architecture firm with a long-standing commitment to environmentally responsible architecture, designed the building. It features a clinic, nursery area and a kitchen specifically designed with the preparation of such bird delicacies as blueberries, worms and crickets in mind. An acoustically isolated room provides a quiet haven for birds particularly sensitive to noise and a wet room was incorporated into the design to ensure aquatic birds can be cared for during the winter months.
In addition to housing specialized bird care areas, Le Nichoir’s growing environmental education program for children now has a classroom ready to welcome groups interested in learning about birds and their habitat. The classroom provides the region with a unique learning environment linking classroom learning with learning opportunities in the adjacent Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve established in 2003 by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is very pleased to see the use which Le Nichoir makes of the reserve to engage children in learning about the importance of conserving wild birds. The reserve, acquired and protected by NCC thanks to generous donations of Amy Evelyn Clarke and Margaret Rhynas Clarke, is a local gem with a diversity of habitats and is rich in wildlife,” says Nathalie Zinger, Vice-President of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec.
Construction of the 560-square-metre building was managed by eSpace Construction Inc. and was completed on budget at $980,000.
With the doors officially open, staff and volunteers at Le Nichoir are organizing an Open House at the new facility Saturday, November 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public is invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the new bird care facilities, learn about the on-site education programs, visit the new classroom, walk the trails of the Clarke Sydenham Nature Reserve and perhaps indulge in some seasonal shopping at Le Nichoir’s La Plume Verte boutique.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place in the presence of Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke, Vaudreuil-Soulanges MRC Prefect Jean Lalonde and Lynn Miller co-founder of Le Nichoir as well as representatives from partner organizations and individual supporters of Le Nichoir.