Through all the challenges of 2020 it’s been important to find inspiration and positivity where we can. For us here on the Fraser Valley Wetland Recovery team, these snippets of brilliance come to us on release days! There is no greater treat than introducing our head started western painted turtles to their new wetland habitats. We are especially thankful if it’s a beautiful, sunny day!

Michelle P., one of our endangered species technicians, introducing head started western painted turtles to their new forever home.

This year we released 154 turtles into 8 different wetland locations in the Fraser Valley! These days remind us to take the time to feel the sun on our skin, take a deep breath of fresh air and reflect on how grateful we are to be doing the work that we do. It’s important for us all to take the time to recharge in nature. We encourage you to get out and do just that, where ever you are. If you are in the Fraser Valley, keep on the lookout for our “4 seasons of the western painted turtle” signs.

A quick “thank you” from this little guy before he swims away to his friends.

All release locations are marked with these signs. How many can you spot in the Fraser Valley?

Soon, the days will become cooler and the nights a little longer. Our wild turtle populations will be entering hibernation. However, at our head starting facility, there will continue to be a flurry of activity! This year, we are over-wintering 360 Western painted turtles. Because these turtles are housed indoors, they will continue to be active and grow through the colder winter months. Come spring time, many will be large enough for release.

And so the cycle begins again and we give thanks that life for this species continues.

Michelle MacKenzie

Endangered Species Technician – Fraser Valley Wetlands Wildlife

Michelle was born and raised in Alberta where she graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. She recently made the move to BC to continue to pursue her dream of being a conservation biologist.