Let March madness begin!

Spring Break is almost upon us. The weather is *supposed* to turn warmer. The kids will be out of school and the time change is upon us. Longer days, new beginnings and new challenges. If you are still looking for something to keep your children busy during the last part of March we have pulled some ideas offering new adventures.


Wildlife Weeks at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre


Get inspired! Get educated! Get involved! Learn about the rich biodiversity of our planet from the experts who care for wildlife. Plan to arrive early as space is limited and admission is on a first come basis. Suggested donation: $2 per person or $5 per family. Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

Sunday, March 17

Scales and Coils

Noon to 4 pm

Presented by: Westcoast Reptile Education Society

Come to Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre open house to meet reptiles from around the world and get a peak into their fascinating lives.

 

Monday, March 18

Wild About Mason Bees

1:30 pm

Presented by: Taren Urquart

Native bees are our most important pollinators. Attract friendly mason bees to your garden by making them a bee house.

 

Tuesday, March 19

HighFlyers – Birds of Prey

1 pm

Presented by: OWL Rescue

Owl is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of raptors. Discover how OWL volunteers save the lives of over 700 raptors each year and meet an owl and a hawk.

Wednesday, March 20

Orangutan Rescue

1:30 pm

Presented by: Jacqueline Sunderland Groves

Learn how the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation gives hundreds of orphaned orangutans a second chance to survive in the wild.

Friday, March 22

Bear Aware

10:30 am

Presented by: North Shore Black Bear Society

Learn how to stay safe and get along with our black bear neighbours.

Tuesday, March 26

Leave it to Beavers

1:30 pm

Presented by: FurBearers

Discover why our national animal is also an ecological superhero.

Wednesday, March 28

Making a Splash

2:30 pm

Presented by: Wild Ocean Whale Society

Whales, dolphins, and sea lions, oh my! Discover who’s swimming in the waters around Vancouver. There will also be an optional marine wildlife field-trip associated with this presentation. Saturday, March 30. 10 am to 12 pm at Whytecliff Park.

 

Spring Break Mini-Camps

March 18-20

Nature Investigators

9:30 am-12:30 pm. For ages 5 to 8

Cost: $69.50. To register phone 604-990-3755

Come and be a nature detective in Lynn Canyon Park. Learn about tracking, uncover the hidden habitats of animals, play games, and create nature crafts as we ramble along the forest trails.

March 25-27

Animal Builders

9:30 am to 12:30 pm. For ages 5 to 8

Cost: $69.50. To register phone 604-990-3755

From caddisflies to crows, discover how animals construct their own temperate rainforest homes. Explore the forest looking for signs of animal homes, and learn how you can help our local wildlife get ready for the springtime building boom.


Bricks4kidz building and coding camps


March 18-22, 9 am-12 pm

Junior Robotics & Coding

Age 6-11 yrs

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

Robotics & Coding introduces kids to robotics and provides a hands-on learning experience that engages children’s creative thinking, teamwork, and problem-solving. Campers build Lego models featuring working motors and sensors and program their models with drag-and-drop software.

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213224

 

March 18-22, 2019, 1-4 pm

Everything is Awesome!

Age 5-10 yrs

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

This camp has a different theme every day, and campers will build Bricks 4 Kidz models using LEGO bricks. Join them for models ranging from bumper carts, battle tops and helicopters!

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213225

 

March 25-29, 9 am-12 pm

LEGO Mindstorms EV3

Age 9-15yrs

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

Campers will use the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 product to introduce and advance campers through robotics and coding. Program focuses on how robotics and technology can make life easier in a modern city. Build robots using Mindstorms EV3 electronic bricks and programming with different sensors and software.

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213226

 

March 25-29, 9 am-12 pm

Ticket to Ride

5-10yrs

3590 Mountain Highway (Lynn Valley Community Centre)

Get your ticket to ride at Bricks 4 Kidz’s very own Lego Amusement Park! Campers will build a new ride each day, learning how to make models spin, turn and rock’n roll. Motorized Lego models maximize the action and fun. Each camp day includes carnival-themed games, group challenges, model building and more!

All campers receive a themed Bricks 4 Kidz shirt and camp brag tag!

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213228

 

March 25- 29, 1-4 pm

Stop Motion Movie Making with LEGO

Age 7-14

1277 Lynn Valley Road (Lynn Valley Village)

Light, cameras, LEGO® action! Use LEGO® Bricks to tell YOUR story, complete with music, special effects and all your favorite LEGO® mini-figure characters! Students plan, script, stage, shoot, and produce their own mini-movie. Working as a team, students will use LEGO® components to build the set and props, then shoot their movie using a camera. Don’t miss your chance to be a movie producer! All campers receive a themed Bricks 4 Kidz shirt and wearable USB drive with all camp-produced movies!

https://my.bricks4kidz.com/index.php?action=classdetail&record=213227


Hit the trails


 

Last year we profiled all the great options offered by Escape Adventures that post will give you insight into all the action and adventure campers experience with Escape Adventures. Some of the programs may have changed so get all the latest details on 2019 programs here.


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Preserving local salmon habitat during the International Year of the Salmon

Signs have been popping up and down seasonally along local streams and creeks in a partnership between the North Shore Streamkeepers and the District of North Vancouver to raise awareness of sensitive salmon habitat.


Fragile baby salmon


For the past two fall/winter seasons the North Shore StreamKeepers have placed signs around sensitive fish habitat – like Hastings Creek in Hunter Park – asking owners to keep their dogs out of the water.

“There is a season when fish are vulnerable,” explained Janet Dysart, North Shore Streamkeeper overseeing Hastings Creek. “There are eggs present on the creek bed and when the alevin [juvenile salmon] are out swimming around.”

There are times when the creeks are low – August/September – when fish are less at risk and entering creeks presents little risk, she said. However, during the late fall and early winter the eggs and fish are especially vulnerable.

“Disturbing the gravel creekbed can destroy eggs,” said Dysart. “Mostly we are concerned about bacteria and fecal contamination putting the young fish at risk. I know we can’t do anything about wildlife but we should try and do what we can to limit our impact.”

Hastings Creek is home to Coho salmon. It is natural habitat as well as the recipient of alevin stocking from education programs at local schools.

“Think about where the salmon are coming from,” said Dysart. “It’s amazing the journey they have had to return to Hastings Creek. We can’t protect it all but the least we can do is try our best.”

In Hunter Park, Dysart draws attention to the wetland environments that border some of Hastings Creek calling the areas particularly sensitive to both human and animal feet.

“We want people to be aware – if we are not we might lose – it.


Streamkeepers keeping busy


Later this month the North Shore Streamkeepers are hosting a workshop in the honour of the International Year of the Salmon.

February 23rd they will be hosting a panel discussion with representatives from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and local experts. Workshop on the Wild Salmon Policy Implementation Plan: Moving from Policy to Action will be held in the Arbutus Room at the Delbrook Community Recreation Centre, Saturday February 23rd  from 1:30-4 p.m. They have also confirmed the attendance of a number of local politicians, members of the legislature and Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Jonathan Wilkinson. The public is welcome to attend and participate, register in advance here.  

The North Shore Streamkeepers meet every second month at the District of North Vancouver Hall. The next meeting is March 13 at 7 p.m. For more information visit their website.

Healthy teachers – happy classrooms

A health-focused Lynn Valley couple has written the book on keeping teachers healthy. With more than 20 years practicing occupational therapy focusing on the education sector Wade Repta put much of his expertise down on paper in The Well Teacher with the help of his wife Andrée.


Keeping teachers well


“Expectations on teachers are extremely high,” said Wade. “They work under extreme scrutiny and typically they are hare high performing individuals who put others ahead of themselves. The job can be overwhelming – it’s far more challenging than people think.”

Covering a range of topics The Well Teacher was written to give teachers practical tools to keep them in the classroom longer and to get them back sooner after injury or illness.

“If someone is struggling with mental or physical health it can be a tough to manage while caring for 22 children,” said Wade. “I have probably worked with over 1000 teachers either one on one or in workshops. We see so many challenges and there was nowhere for them to go to get the information they need. We wanted to give them the information to improve their well being. We hear over and over again ‘Why didn’t I know this?’ Or ‘Why was I never taught this?’”

Another big difference between other sectors and education are the return to work accommodations, explained Andrée. After an injury or significant work absence most employees are able to figure out with their employers reduced hours, part-time schedules, different responsibilities and a variety of other accommodations.

“For teachers depending on their schedule, their blocks, their specialties it can be difficult to find support for that which makes it very different from other sectors,” she said.

Most of the book is specific to the teaching profession which Wade says is to address the unique challenges teachers are facing.

“In the work we do – [the teachers we see] are already struggling,” said Wade. “Our job is to help people to manage their illness or disability and then figure out their work. This book is to help those teachers and to give information to teachers who don’t want to get to that point.”


Specific help for teachers


Topics range from mental health to ergonomics to voice as well as an entire chapter on returning to work after an injury or illness. They cover the day to day life of educators which can slowly erode health. The physical challenges are usually not brute force injuries but stem, typically, from poor routine.

“In younger grade levels everything is low, so there are repetitive injuries from bending, kneeling,” said Andrée. “Or in high school a teacher maybe working by a white board all day long and not doing in the best way.”

Often small changes to classrooms and routines can help those teachers. The Well Teacher also addresses the physical challenges of chronic conditions and disease. But that’s not the case for other teachers.

“Of those we see – people who are asking for help or had a crash – pretty universally, about 50 per cent are off for physical health and about 50 per cent are off for mental health reasons,” said Wade. “We are seeing a lot of anxiety, we are seeing a lot of depression and while it is not a diagnostic term, we are seeing burn out. They are just tired.”

People don’t realize it’s common for teachers to feel that way because they get multiple breaks throughout the year but when they are at work it is overwhelming, he said.

“So many are just barely getting by.”

The Well Teacher website also has a number of resources available that help readers implement the strategies in the book.

“We wanted it to be functional and actually used and put into practice,” said Wade. “We know sitting down and setting goals leads to more success. We want teachers to have more control over their wellness – to prevent a further decline or give them a starting point to get back in the classroom.”

The Well Teacher is available online or by contacting Wade and Andrée at thewellteacher@humanworks.ca to order your copy and arrange Lynn Valley pick up to save on shipping.

From farm to forest

Two Lower Mainland farms are growing their food and delivering it to Lynn Valley giving true farm to table options for local families. One Argyle grad is working the soil near Pemberton, while a lawyer-turned-farmer is guiding three generations on a farm on the Sumas Prairie.


What’s a CSA?


Both small farms offer a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program delivering a box of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies each week or biweekly. The goal is to bring the public and farmers closer together. Members of the CSA program pay in advance for their share which helps farms with start up costs and in-season income fluctuations.  

A Crisp Organics CSA box.

What you need to know

  1. You don’t get to choose what goes in your box – you never know what will be delivered each week. It also means you don’t get a choice. Some CSA programs allow you to pass on a particular item because of allergies or you just don’t like something but if you are picky – this might not be for you. Often the farm will send an email detailing the box which can help identify products you aren’t familiar with.
  2. Expand your palate – Farmers plant what goes best locally, not what big box stores ask for so you won’t get a red pepper in June, but you might in late August. You will also likely get some fruit and veggies you haven’t prepared before, like Jerusalem artichokes or a heritage variety of squash. It is a great way to try something new.
  3. The season’s best – You will be eating the freshest food, not grown in your backyard. You will get fruits and veggies that were picked that morning or the afternoon before. You will find some of the sweetest strawberries and tomatoes of your life in these boxes.

There are two great programs servicing Lynn Valley. CSA programs typically sell out each year,  so if you want to sign up get it done early. Even if the websites aren’t quite ready for the summer 2019 season, sign up for their email lists and get notified of their program kick off.


Four Beat Farm


Argyle grad Naomi Martz has leased 10 acres of land near Pemberton on the traditional territory of the Lil’wat Nation. Four Beat Farm grows 35 different products for its CSA box. Four Beat Farm is Certified Organic, which means no GMOs or synthetic fertilizers are present on the farm and its methods are third-party verified.  They are certified by the Biodynamic Agricultural Society of BC (BDASBC 10*500-40), and use biodynamic growing practices that focus on soil health and creating regenerative farm systems.

A unique feature of Four Beat Farm are its “solar tractors” – their draft horses. The farm uses horses rather than vehicles to work the fields reducing its use of fossil fuels and providing essential compost.

Four Beat Farm delivers biweekly to Lynn Valley on Wednesdays. As a member of the CSA you (or someone you ask) must pick up your box from 3-5:30 p.m. They send out a reminder each week. Last year the season was scheduled from August 15 to October 24 for  a total harvest season of 12 weeks and an extra-large “double share” of storage crops planned to enjoy late into the fall at the final pickup.


Crisp Organics


In 2010 newly minted lawyer Andrew Arkenstyn-Vogler hung up his robes and started a new dream with his parents – an 11 acre farm in Abbotsford.  They have been working the land focusing on sustainability and organic certification. The home farm is certified by the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society, while their extended land is organic transitional.

Crisp Organics runs a large CSA program and serves many farmer’s markets. They grow an array of seasonal vegetables with a focus on greens. They also partner with other organic growers at times to add diversity to their offerings.

The farm’s summer CSA program runs from May 3 to October 25. They deliver once a week to a location near Argyle Secondary. Unique to Crisp Organics – it offers an option to add SPCA certified eggs to your weekly box. If you sign up before the end of February with the code EARLYBIRD you will get a box weekly box free!


Looking for more?


There’s always something fun and exciting happening in Lynn Valley. Check out our Community Events Calendar or learn more about Local Activities, Mountain Biking or Hiking and Walking Trails.

Coffee addicts rejoice

A steady stream of bleary-eyed coffee lovers gave an almost a palpable sigh of relief recently as they returned to their daily pilgrimage to Lynn Valley’s new and improved Starbucks.


Back and bigger


A short walk across the street from its original location, Nancy Oldham and her team have opened the new Reserve store in Lynn Valley Centre, in the old Quiznos’ location on the exterior west wall. The larger space has been elegantly designed, with a dark charcoal accent well, warm wood and stunning wallpaper. It’s a polished upgrade from the previous store than encourages lingering.

“It is so good to be back. During the renovation I worked at several different stores,” said Oldham. “What sets Lynn Valley apart is the community – we serve the same 200 people every morning. We know the people here. That’s pretty unheard of.”

The new store features ample bar space – which highlights the difference between a Reserve and typical Starbucks store.


Roots recognized


“Lynn Valley was chosen for a Reserve store because of Starbucks long history in the area,” explained Oldham. “Lynn Valley was the fifth store outside of the United States. It’s originally lease was signed Howard Schultz [the Starbucks CEO credited with creating coffee cafe culture in North America].”

The long history and loyal customers made Lynn Valley the perfect place to add one of the new reserve stores, she said.


New brew innovations


“Reserve stores offer specialty, small lot coffees not available in the majority of Starbucks stores,” said Oldham. “The assortment of offers change over the year, with new coffees coming in four-six times a year. These coffees are offered by the half pound for sale, or for brewing on our Clover Brewing System.”

She explained the Clover Brewing System uses immersion vacuum extraction. The technique preserves all the coffee oils by eliminating the need for a paper filter.

“It makes an exceptionally flavourful, smooth cup of coffee,” said Oldham. “It is brewed to order, and guests can watch the experience as their coffee is made.”

Also along the warm wood bar are two taps – giving the entrance of the store a feeling closer to brewery than a coffee shop.  

“We offer Cold Brew and Nitro Cold Brew coffee on tap,” said Oldham. “Cold brew is made in-house, at cold temperatures, over 20 hours. This brew process allows the coffee to develop a naturally sweet taste with low acidity. We use a blend of African coffee, which gives a citrus flavour, and Latin American coffee, which adds the sweet chocolate notes. We pour the coffee over ice, or we infuse it with nitrogen gas, which gives an incredibly smooth mouth feel and adds even more sweetness to the cup.”