Work that Satisfies

I love being busy. I like to wake up in the morning knowing that there are many projects I could work on. I even like knowing that, by the time one is finished, several more have inevitably piled up.

I also like variety in my “other duties as required”. Since there are endless “other duties” involved with running the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, it is my perfect match.

Secretly, though, I admit that I expected the Preserve would slow down in fall. It is the rut, one of the most interesting times to observe animals, but, with fewer tourists, kids back at school and cooler weather, slower seemed logical.

While I don’t like to admit being wrong, fall is shaping up to be much busier than I had anticipated. September has not slowed down and the entire fall is shaping up to be very exciting.

For the first time, we are running fall school programs. This past spring, almost 750 Yukon and northern British Columbia students visited the preserve. Most came for our curriculum-based programs, and a few for special tours.

When the school year ended and there were still classes that wanted to come, we started booking for September. I think my staff are as excited as the students. The opportunity to spend more time mucking around in the pond, hiking the hills and observing the birds and animals has made them very happy indeed.

There is also construction taking place everywhere. When I arrived at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, I heard over and over that we needed a new lynx enclosure, better viewing of the animals and interpretive panels. Today, all three projects are underway.

We have recently been the recipients of a Department of Economic Development, Community Development Fund grant.

Through this grant, wheelchair-accessible viewing platforms are cropping up throughout the preserve, and the interpretive panels are not far behind. Knowing how long it takes me to hammer in a nail, it is most amazing to watch as skilled carpenters make these platforms progress like magic.

Concurrently, an enclosure to house carnivores, including our lynx, is underway. Thanks to the generosity of our members and donors, most of the money has been raised and the materials purchased. We have been incredibly lucky to have the Environmental Programs Branch at the Department of Environment, members of the Rotary Club of Whitehorse and individuals who volunteer to help move this project forward.

Many hands really do make light – and fast – work.

Taking a brief moment to escape from my desk, where insurance policies, permits, board meetings and my next article vie for attention, I admire the location of our soon-to-be-built moose-viewing platform. From here, I can see today’s high school class modelling hip waders and nets as they scoop pond plants for analysis.

From here, I have the perfect location to reflect on how much more exciting the fall is than I anticipated.

But I do like to be busy, and if we are going to be open this winter (and we are, every weekend), I have work to do.

Krista Prochazka loved the Yukon Wildlife Preserve so much that she made her family move to the Yukon to become executive director of the preserve. Contact her at [email protected]

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