By Stu Mackenzie, Director, Strategic Assets, Birds Canada
On October 28, Birds Canada celebrated the grand opening of our new demonstration and research laboratories and enhancements to the visitor centre at Long Point Bird Observatory’s Old Cut Research Station. This project included expansion and enhancement of our visitor, living, and research space, and delivery of our outreach and education services. The enhancements were made possible by a $50,500 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to Birds Canada in 2021.
Cutting the ribbon to the improved research lab at Long Point Bird Observatory’s Old Cut Research Station. Left to right: Stu Mackenzie (Director of Strategic Assets, Birds Canada) Betty Chanyi (Birds Canada Board member and Chair of LPBO Committee), Hugh McArthur (founder, The Friends of LPBO), and Larry Gaertner (volunteer, Ontario Trillium Foundation). Photo: Ron Ridout
Speaking about the event, local MMP Bobbi Ann Brady remarked, “We are fortunate to have Birds Canada in our area as they undertake valuable research in protecting our birds and conservation on a whole. The Old Cut facility also draws many tourists interested in further education on birding in the area. It is my understanding this grant has allowed for online programming which will enable Birds Canada to reach and educate more people.”
Every year, Old Cut Research Station welcomes thousands of visitors and students of all ages. Here, they enjoy bird and nature viewing and networking with other members of the community. They also receive formal and informal education programming about bird science and conservation. Professional biologists and interpreters provide visitors with expert instruction and live demonstrations of science in action. If you haven’t yet had the chance to visit Old Cut, we hope you’ll have the opportunity in future.
Enhanced research and visitor space at Old Cut Research Station. Photo: Birds Canada
Thanks to the support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we were able to expand our indoor and outdoor demonstration space, and enhance our virtual capabilities through the installation of audio-visual equipment. The new equipment will support virtual programming and livestreaming through LPBO’s YouTube Channel, Website, and social media.
Old Cut also serves as an important research centre for our own ongoing research and monitoring programs as well as for numerous collaborators at partnering universities, colleges, and organizations. As a training hub, the observatory provides advanced hands-on experiences and training in ornithology to hundreds of students and volunteers, as well as to youth through our esteemed Young Ornithologists’ Workshop.
Upgrades to living quarters at Old Cut Research Station. Photo: Birds Canada
Support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation allowed the observatory to upgrade our research laboratories and aspects of our living quarters including on-site laundry facilities. These improvements were essential to create a welcoming and productive experience for all cooperators and visitors to the observatory.
Long Point Bird Observatory has been a fixture in the local and global bird conservation and scientific community for over 60 years. These improvements help to cement the observatory as a leader in the development and delivery of outdoor environmental public education and engagement opportunities in tandem with a vibrant research program. All of us at Long Point Bird Observatory are thrilled to invite everyone to come to Old Cut to enjoy the programming and improvements made possible by the Ontario Trillium Foundation!