The Bowen Island Nature Club has paired up with the Bowen Conservancy to send islanders on a quest to learn about, and experience, nature. The unique, free opportunity takes place Sunday, May 15.
During a visit to Quarry Park, the first of three Quest locations, earlier this week, the Nature Club's Cynthia Nicolson and D.G. Blair said that Questing began in the U.S. and is gaining popularity. Participants are given a map and directions and solve riddles while gathering information about their community.
"I'm quite excited about it because it really makes us aware of things that are right there and that you might not otherwise pay attention to," Nicolson said. "It's about connecting to your own place, about the whole idea of learning about and appreciating where you live. In this case our Quest is about the watersheds."
Quest subjects can be a park, wetlands, historical sites or cultural places of interest. This Quest is part of B.C. Drinking Water Week. It's intended to help participants understand how our drinking water arrives in our homes and what we need to do to protect our water supplies. A version was done in 2009 by Island students.
It should take about an hour and a half and at the end you find a treasure box, which is a book you sign and a stamp to mark your accomplishment on your map or in a book of your own. The quest map, featuring a character called Raindrop, was conceived and written by Blair and Nicolson and while a labour intensive exercise, the result is amusing and informative. Here's a sampling of Raindrop's patter:
From where, do you think, this water comes a-calling?
As part of the cycle it comes from rain that's falling - My water buddies and I take an enormous round trip - From the sky to the ground and up again we flip.
Arrival time to begin at the Headwaters at Quarry Park is anytime between 1 and 2:30 and after you're finished there you'll go to Bowen Brook at Buchanan Park before finishing at Grafton Lake. The map has the details about where to go and what to look for. Parking areas there may be parking along roadsides. Parking is limited in Quest locations and Blair and Nicolson suggest car-pooling if possible. In addition to Park or Grafton Lake please take extra caution upon seeing cars parked along the roadside.