Mountainaire Avian Rescue ambassador Brinley

Celebrate National Wildlife Week at MARS’ annual Open House

This year there will be a big book sale and bake sale for all you book and food lovers and lots of activities for kids

Spring is in the air, with flowers blooming, bees buzzing and birds singing.

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) is inviting everyone to join them at their annual Open House on Sunday April 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the wildlife centre in Merville. Shakespeare the barred owl and Horus the red-tail Hhawk will be on hand for visitors to see up close. Brinley, the great horned owl, our newest MARS ambassador can be seen as well.

This year there will be a big book sale and bake sale for all you book and food lovers and lots of activities for kids. This is also a perfect time to register to take a Walk for Wildlif” on April 21 and observe the wildlife in the Comox Valley around the Courtenay Airpark.

“We’re trying something new this year, with the book and bake sale and hoping that we can top last year’s attendance of over 300 people. Our Open House is the perfect time to come and meet the MARS team,” says manager and founder Maj Birch.

Volunteers will be on hand with tours of the wildlife facility that is only open to the public during Open House each year. Their permits do not allow public viewing of patients and most of the cages are off limits during busy times of the year.

This is also a chance to learn about MARS’ other activities within the surrounding communities of Campbell River, Courtenay and the Comox Valley. Discover how MARS helps with conservation efforts and wildlife studies, their educational programs, internship program and more.

They’ll have some other local environmental groups in attendance to provide information about area conservation efforts and Wendy Kotilla’s Youth in Ecological Restoration (YER) Program participants will be helping with traffic control at the event. Look for MARS merchandise for sale, including chocolate eagles from Hot Chocolates and wildlife key chains and note cards. Refreshments will also be available for purchase.

Attend their Open House and talk with staff and volunteers to find out more about wildlife issues, how you can become involved, and have a look at what’s happening at the MARS Wildlife Centre.

Visit their Website www.wingtips.org, call 250-337-2021 for more information or “Like” them on their Facebook page and become a friend.