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Explore: Learn about bears, birds and churches at two free events

Free upcoming events: Birds of the Spring and Summer on Friday; A Bear’s Perspective on Saturday.
Lauren Sherwood, CRD Parks naturalist stands behind a not-to-scale representation of a black bear that she will using as a prop for the A Bear’s Perspective program at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park on Saturday, March 2. CRD PARKS

Learn about bears on free self-guided walk

Find out what it would be like to be a bear — where would you go? What would you eat? — at A Bear’s Perspective, a self-guided walk put on by CRD Parks at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park on Saturday.

This family-friendly program will give visitors the ‘bear necessities’ to understanding what its like to be a bear.

“To help people understand bears, we turn people into bears,” said Lauren Sherwood, CRD Parks naturalist. “We take them from birth, where the cubs are about the size of a soup can, to what they would do in the different seasons of the year to their home ranges and what they need to forage to survive.”

She said that the self-guided walk is a gentle reminder of how people can peacefully co-exist and share the outdoors with black bears (Ursus americanus), the most common bear found on Vancouver Island.

In the wild, their diet is 95 per cent vegetation. But with an acute sense of smell — a bear can smell food from up to a kilometre away — bears are attracted to human activity (garbage, grain crops, bee hives and even livestock), which can lead to conflict between the two species.

During the program, information panels will be set up along a 800-metre trail, which features a compact surface (with roots) and no incline. The trail is wheelchair accessible.

The drop-in program is free to join. It runs 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The walk starts at the information kiosk at the Hamsterly Beach parking lot at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.

The site is accessible via BC Transit routes: #70, #71, #72 or #75.

Learn about birds and tour a church

Learn about birds and check out a church at Birds of the Spring and Summer in Victoria, a presentation by a local committed birder and naturalist, followed by a tour of St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church on Friday, March 1.

At the free educational event Nightingale, a director of the Rocky Point Bird Observatory will teach attendees how to identify and welcome springtime birds to Vancouver Island.

After the presentation, you can join the church’s rector for a tour of the church and explore the grounds, resplendent in springtime blooms and blossoms.

The event runs 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 1 at St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church, 4733 West Saanich Rd. For more information, go to