Animals and Art in Salmonier Nature Park

Great Horned Owl greeting Katie in the park
The Park opens June 1st. Exhibits officially open in July.

Salmonier Park Manager Ralph Jarvis volunteers at a Wildlife Rescue Centre in the Peruvian Amazon. There, he offers training in environmental education for staff, helps raise funds for equipment, and consults the Director and Education Coordinator on program development and facility design—all based in part on Salmonier’s success as a wildlife park.

What makes Salmonier a great model? It’s part nature centre, zoological park, protected natural area and wildlife rehabilitation centre.

The Park partners with many organizations to deliver extensive programming in environmental and conservation education, especially for family groups in the summer, and curriculum-linked programs developed for schools. They also promote nature-based tourism and outdoor education through programs such as Becoming an Outdoors Woman.

Salmonier rehabilitates around 50-75 animals a year, most of which are birds-of-prey, or lost wading birds blown off-course that landed on ships or offshore oil platforms. They have a normal 40% success rate in getting animals back into the wild, and are well-known for their accomplishments with orphaned moose calves.

The Cathedral, by Jeanette Jobson
The Cathedral, by Jeanette Jobson

Only animals with permanent injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild are kept in the park, or placed with other zoos and nature centres.The animals at Salmonier aren’t anthropomorphized with names—there’s a reason it’s called a wild-life park.

The bat colony at Salmonier is critical. Bat species/populations in North America have been devastated by White Nose Syndrome, a fungal disease that kills bats.So far, Newfoundland is free of this disease, and Salmonier has one of the largest-known colonies in Newfoundland that’s accessible for researchers.

This year, Salmonier is opening a new eco-friendly visitor centre. Green features include a constructed wetland for treatment of wastewater,and energy-efficient equipment and appliances.

Jarvis is hoping this visitor centre“will allow us to build on the level of community support….to help illustrate why nature is important—not only for supporting wildlife and the habitat it depends on, but the many ways that people depend on natural communities.”

The new centre highlights rotating art and nature-themed exhibits.The two inaugural exhibits are Spirits Sheltered and The Beauty of… 

The Beauty of…features photographs by Denis Minty, with pictures switching in July, August and September. It includes images of weather, the Baccalieu Trail region, and polar bears.

Denis was the first manager of the Park when it opened in the 70’s. His daughter Sarah is one of the artists participating in Spirits Sheltered,which features craft and artwork based on ideas of nature in the Park by instructors at the Anna Templeton Centre.

Embroidered Spider, by Susan Furneaux
Embroidered Spider, by Susan Furneaux

Artist Susan Furneaux says “the Spirits Sheltered partnership will offer visitors to the Park’s new pavilion a unique visual experience, as well as an opportunity to take exciting nature-themed craft and art classes in the beautiful Park setting.”

Spirits Sheltered artists includeBarry Buckle, Susan Furneaux, Jeanette Jobson, Catherine McCausland, Sarah Minty, Charlotte Reid, Anita Singh, Susan Lee Stephen, Stephanie Stoker, Katie Vautour and April White.
Pieces range in size from things you can hold in your hand to things you can’t fit in your house. The mediums, to name a few: embroidery, rughooking, weaving, textiles, sculpture, mixed media, metalwork, installation and painting.

The Park opens June 1st. Exhibits officially open in July.

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