March 2023 Cover Page Article for the South Shuswap Scoop
First Annual White Lake Turtle Festival
Greetings Turtle Lovers! We are excited to announce our first annual White Lake Turtle Festival April 15, 2023. Join us at White Lake Community Hall, 3617 Parri Road, from 11 am to 3 pm for a super fun day! This Festival is a celebration of our Western Painted Turtles and an opportunity for all of us to become better caretakers for these little friends.
Did you know? Western Painted Turtles are on the BC provincial government “Blue List”, meaning they are at risk due to ongoing loss of habitat. Their coastal cousins are already on the “Red List”, meaning endangered. Come learn what YOU can do to help the turtles live!
The White Lake Turtle Festival will feature lots of fun activities for kids and adults, with Bongo the clown, food trucks, coloring contest, turtle selfie station, make turtle nest protectors, learn about turtle lifecycles and physiology, turtle T-shirts… and much more! We are very fortunate to include an insightful presentation by WildBC Educator, Peter Ballin.
Caring for turtles is something residents at White Lake have been doing for years. From 2012 to 2015, a turtle study took place by WLRA-White Lake Stewards and BC Parks, where a number of turtles were monitored with telemetry equipment in hopes of determining their nesting sites and general locations throughout the year. A local Young Naturalist’s club, as well as Carlin and Sorrento schools had some involvement in the project. The CSRD offered support by producing maps of turtle locations using telemetry monitoring, as well as providing materials for turtle crossing signs and a turtle nesting site near the boat launch.
There was plenty of opportunity in the study for the public to be involved by reporting turtle sightings to a g-mail account which was set up for this purpose. We have recently reintroduced this initiative and therefore ask, please, if you see a turtle, report your sightings of mamas and baby hatchlings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know? Many baby turtles are killed while crossing White Lake Road! ☹
You can help save baby turtles by volunteering for a 90-minute road-monitoring “shift” in the key season from mid-April to mid-May. Everyone is welcome, including kids accompanied by an adult (for insurance purposes, please note everyone who volunteers will need to be a member in good standing with the WLRA. Memberships are $20 per person and free for children). To volunteer, send dates and times you are available to email@example.com.
You can also help the turtles by coming to this fun, first-ever White Lake Turtle Festival!