Ducks Unlimited Canada
Funding support: Ducks Unlimited Canada in partnership with the Province of Manitoba as well as numerous individual, corporate and foundation sponsors
Number of staff: 12
Number of visitors per year: 100,000+
Overall aims of the centre
To foster public awareness and understanding of wetlands in order to conserve and protect them for future generations.
Description of the centre
Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre is part ecomuseum, science centre, and nature centre. It specializes in wetland education and tourism. It has about 6,800 square feet (600 square metres) of exhibits, plus a 120-seat theatre, gift shop, cafe, green rooftop observation deck, and fully equipped meeting rooms.
Wheelchair accessible with teaching collection of natural and cultural history items related to wetlands. Special collection of heritage and decorative decoys and other artefacts. The Interpretive Centre’s main outdoor “exhibit” is the 36 square kilometre Wildlife Management Area (international birding hotspot, Ramsar site, and Important Bird Area).
This centre is open year round and located just 20 minutes north of Winnipeg. The Interpretive Centre is available for meetings, weddings, birthday parties and many other kinds of events with over 100,000 visitors annually. The Oak Hammock Marsh IC offers over 30 kilometers of trails for recreational uses and a full slate of programs is available and linking to the K-12 school curriculum.
Member Privileges: Annual admission, discounts (gift shop, workshops, and programs), reciprocal benefits at participating museums and science centres across Canada (through Canadian Association of Science Centres).
Food Services: Cafe provides a variety of hot and cold, beverages and freshly-baked goods, sandwiches, soups. Breakfast and lunch specials are available weekdays and some special events (call ahead).
Also available: Vending Machines • Picnic Area • Catering Services • Reception Facilities, Barbecues are available for use by booked groups.
Main CEPA work areas
Over 50,000 students participate in the education programs delivered at Oak Hammock each year. Whether it’s hiking the trails with a knowledgeable nature interpreter or paddling the waters of the marsh aboard our voyageur-style canoes, there’s always something going on at the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre. A wide variety of daily activities is offered to visitors year round. Snowshoe through the marsh while looking for animal tracks in the snow, or dip into the waters to catch small invertebrates with a plastic net and a pail and then later observe them under a microscope.
Educational Programs:OHMIC offers over 70 wetland programs to school groups (on-site and through outreach), workshops and eco-tours for the public and members, and special programs for tour groups.
Classes or Workshops • Demonstrations • Discovery Room • Family Programs • Films • Internships • Lectures • School Programs : for Age 0-4 (Pre-School) : Age 5-11 (k-6) : Age 12-17 (7-13)(: Age 18 and up (Post-Secondary) • Seniors Programs • Professional Development
Other: Day camps are offered during each of the school breaks (March, summer, and winter holidays). Sleepover option for youth groups and students.
Interpreters deliver a full schedule of activities for the public. Service is available in French and English. Facilities are accessible to wheelchairs and include washrooms, cafe, gift shop, and theatre. Lockers, bike racks, and self-guided Discovery Kits are available. Binocular loan for guided walks. GPS rentals.
Bilingual Services • Films and Videos • Guided Tours : English : French • Children’s Activities, Nursing area or Change Table • Information Centre or Desk • Meeting Room Rental • Nature Trails, Walks • Parking Facilities : Gift shop • Special Needs Facilities, Washrooms : Wheelchairs available : Wheelchair access • Cloakroom •
Other Guided Tours: Wetland walkabouts, guided canoe adventures in a voyageur-style canoe, snowshoe walks, lagoon tours, van tours, critter-dipping. Daily feeding demonstrations with captive live animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles).
Top three successes
On the Go; Out reach program to schools; Project Wet training for teachers.
Top three challenges
Being rural and somewhat distant from population centres sometimes difficult to attract visitors, particularly in winter.
Fundraising is always a challenge.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Using audio-visual tools; Developing nature trails
Setting up a new visitor centre; Managing / creating habitat; Running a visitor centre.
Working with disabled people; Engaging hard-to-reach groups; Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Oak Hammock Neotropics Display
Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
Auditing / assessing effectiveness; PR and marketing; Running effective administration; Fund-raising; Project planning.
Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, 1 Snow Goose Bay on Hwy. 220, Stonewall P. O. BOX 1160, Oak Hammock Marsh, Manitoba, Canada, R0C 2Z0
Toll-Free (888) 50-MARSH (62774)
By fax (204) 467-3311; (204) 467-9028
Photo gallery and video available at: http://www.oakhammockmarsh.ca/nature/photo-gallery/index.html
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