LETHBRIDGE – The Oldman River, the rolling hills of the coulees and the bustling Southern Alberta wildlife made the river valley a perfect addition to the permanent exhibit at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.
“In the city limits we have over 4000 acres of natural space connecting all of our river valley together,” Resource Development Coordinator, Curtis Goodman said. “I find that to be one of my favourite parts. If you find one of the rights paths you can go all the way from the far South to the far North.”
The interactive displays provide information about how the river valley formed, the cottonwood forest and the species who call it home. Goodman says finding the balance between new technologies and traditional interpretive methods was key in making the exhibit a success.
“Anytime you introduce technology there’s that fear that things could go wrong, or what about the day that it doesn’t work,” Goodman said. “We’ve really tried to make sure that it is a part of it but not the whole part of it. You’ll see all different things that you’re probably used to if you’ve gone to nature centres across the country.Whether it’s an interactive piece or just really good information about why here is such an interesting place.”
The exhibit features a short film about the Blackfoot nature traditions, as well as outdoor exhibits like a 3-D map of the coulees. Goodman said because it’s right in our own backyard, it’s time take advantage of it.
“It’s our best asset, and if you’re not spending at least a portion of every day in the river valley, I really encourage you to get outside!” Goodman added. “Spend time walking and listening to the sounds of nature. It’s good for you. It’ll help you de-stress, and it’s what we all need at this time of year.”