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Still more work to do at Kingfisher one year after devastating debris slide

NEAR ENDERBY – It has been just over a year since a debris slide devastated the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre east of Enderby. But the fish hatchery and educational resource has come a long way since.

On Friday, another group of students got a firsthand look at the natural world on their visit to the centre. Teacher Melanie Munk has been bringing students here for years and says the field trip makes a strong impression on students.

“Instead of just seeing things in books, they actually get to experience things firsthand and see things out in the wild,” she says.

However, the facility was a big mess after a debris slide came down Cooke Creek and wreaked havoc at the centre, filling the main building with mud and wrecked property.

Read More: Nature centre damaged by debris torrent

“I was devastated,” says Munk. “I didn’t know whether they would be able to recover. It is amazing what they have been able to do in one year.”

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The major restoration work has now been completed.

“We’ve come a very very long way,” acknowledges centre director Shona Bruce.

The restoration work included re-establishing a water source.

“We have our domestic water source going so we were actually able to collect salmon eggs this fall. [In] May last year, we didn’t think that was even going to be a possibility, so we are really pleased to be able to raise fish,” says Bruce.

Read More: Destructive debris flow closes road

There is still a lot more work to do here, including another water source to be re-established. Fish habitat also needs to be rebuilt in Cooke Creek. But today the centre got a $50-thousand donation from Telus to help them move forward.

While the major work has been done, it’s expected to take another year to restore the centre to where it was before the slide.

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