Five years ago I started building the first pirate ship Inferno display, a Goonies reference, for my young girls. Initially, they were too scared to enjoy it, often refusing to return home after trick or treating but they’ve since grown to love it.
I found the process rather therapeutic and as the years sailed by my creativity flowed and the boundaries got pushed and Inferno grew and grew. Our display has become a mainstay in the neighbourhood with kids and adults alike, and since 2013 we’ve had over 1000 children visiting our display on Halloween night.
Because of Infernos popularity, we decided to use the ship as a tool to raise donations for our local Vancouver food bank and since 2014 we’ve collected close to $800 and over 1,000lbs in non-perishable food items.
After I finished my degree at UBC I was heavily involved in wildlife habitat creation/restoration with the Wild Bird Trust in North Vancouver. When I started my own company I found the pressures of starting and running a small business took up all of my free time and I lost touch with the Wild Bird Trust. I still maintained an urban garden with plantings that attracted birds, butterflies and bees and as part of my urban naturescape project I designed and build bird boxes for Chickadees. When my first daughter was born I wanted to pass on our families love of the natural world, especially in ornithology and botany. In 2012 when she was in kindergarten I did my first bird box program with Denise Burke ( the most amazing Kindergarten teacher ever) at Lord Nelson Elementary School. My team and I made kits that the kids could easily assemble in one class, with a little adult help, then they class spent the next two weeks decorating and weatherproofing their creation for Mothers day gifts.
This project not only proved to be an amazing exercise in dexterity for developing minds and bodies, but it allowed me to pass on a little bit of knowledge about our urban wildlife, and Mum got a great gift out of it too.
I’ve done three workshops in total over the last four years and I plan to develop the program further in the coming years.
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