By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
There’s a new addition at the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre in Coaldale — it’s the Fortis Alberta Owl Amphitheatre.
“We’ve been working on this project — it’s been in the planning stages for about two or three years. It will give us a little more all-weather capability because it’s a nice covered area. It will give protection for visitors either in the rain or in the hot sun in July and August. Owls really need the shade. That’s why it’s nice for the birds, as well,” said Colin Weir from the centre.
Weir noted the new amphitheatre will provide a place for static demonstrations and for volunteers to discuss information about local birds.
“When we bring the birds out one by one and then just talk about all the different owls we have here in southern Alberta,” he added.
Fortis Alberta, Weir said, has been a sponsor of the centre for over 10 years.
“It’s really helped transform the facility quite a bit. We wouldn’t have been able to do many of the things on site had it not been for their generosity,” he said, adding work on the amphitheatre is just about complete, as landscaping work and the installation of a P.A. system is still ongoing.
According to Weir, this season there is also a new AltaLink Shoreline Pathway for visitors to enjoy.
“Going from the gift shop down to the flying field. That’s going to be open, as well,” he noted.
Again this season, guests can make donations or make a donation by sponsoring an owl.
“Donations and owl sponsorships are always appreciated. A lot of people still think we’re supported by the government or the town, but we actually don’t get any operating subsidies at all. Any donations or bird sponsorships are always very welcome and appreciated,” Weir said.
Alberta Birds of Prey is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Sept. 10.
Weir explained the centre also received $750,000, it hopes to spend on another storm water area north of the site.
“That will hopefully blend in nicely with what the town is doing and provide some relief for quite a few of the farmers and acreage owners to the north west of the centre,” Weir said.