Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society volunteers like Mirror columnist Sandy Lindsay will be on hand for the society’s open house.

Celebrate Wildlife Week at MARS open house in Merville on Saturday

Shakespeare the barred owl and Horus the red-tail hawk will be on hand for visitors to see up close

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

The world around us is full of renewed life, a perfect time to register to take a “Walk for Wildlife” and observe the wildlife in the Comox Valley. MARS invites the public to join them at our annual Open House on Saturday April 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at their Wildlife Centre in Merville.

There will be an egg hunt for the kids with prizes and a chance to win a special gift basket. Volunteers will be on hand with tours of the wildlife facility that is only open to the public on this special day each year. Their permits do not allow public viewing of patients, and most of the cages are off limits.

Shakespeare the barred owl and Horus the red-tail hawk will be on hand for visitors to see up close. Otus – the newest member of the MARS ambassadors can be seen this year as well.  A special guest “Harrison” will be on hand to greet our guests.  Be sure to get your pledge sheets to help raise funds for MARS “Walk for Wildlife” planned for April 22 at the Airpark in Courtenay.  The Theme for National Wildlife Week is “Walk for Wildlife” so this is very fitting.

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

On hand will be Comox Valley Conservation Strategy, Tsolum River Restoration and Greenways Land Trust with displays of their efforts in the community. Ian Moul with the WiTS program will be able to answer questions about Nest Trees.   Wendy Kotilla’s Youth in Ecological Restoration Program participants will be on hand to help out at our event.

On sale are Raffle tickets with the draw at 3 p.m. for HOT Chocolate’s Flying Eagles, MARS Photo Contest prints from Eagle Fest in Campbell River, and Brian Scott’s prints of “Mtn Avery from Helicopter.” Talk with MARS 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.