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Saunders visitor centre wraps up another season of education and fun

OPG’s Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre was a flurry of activity this summer as it hosted tours, events and workshops for travellers and families from Ontario and abroad.

Visitors take photos of an owl during this summer's Wild for Wildlife event held by the River Institute.
Visitors take photos of an owl during this summer's Wild for Wildlife event held by the River Institute.

The events, hosted by OPG and several community partners in Cornwall, covered a variety of topics, including the Power Project and St. Lawrence Seaway history, water safety, science, biodiversity, and technology.

Approximately 6,000 guests came through the centre’s doors from May to the end of September. The centre is on track to welcome almost 10,000 guests in 2019.

“OPG’s staff and our community partners were instrumental in making this summer’s programs a success,” said Brent Stajkowski, Production Manager at R.H. Saunders Generating Station. “We had a great turnout this year and received a positive response from our guests.”

Notably, the centre saw an increase in the number of international travellers stopping by off Highway 401, Stajkowski said. “There continues to be a genuine public interest in learning about the rich history of the St. Lawrence Power Project and the Seaway.”

Children get a close up view of a milk snake at the Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre.
Children get a close up view of a milk snake at the Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre.

This year’s programing included a workshop on fishing and water safety with Tackleshare and the Cornwall Lunker Club, an environment day with Raisin Region Conservation Authority and Friends of the Sanctuary, and a family fun day welcoming some farm animals from the Vanderlaand Barnyard Zoo. Four River Institute educational workshops were also held, one of which featured education on protecting nocturnal creatures, specifically the little brown bat and the American eel.

Other events included a science and tech day featuring 3D printing technology and virtual reality demonstrations, a teddy bear picnic in partnership with the Cornwall Fire Department, Akwesasne Mohawk Ambulance and the Ministry of Transportation, and an annual visit from Earth Rangers, who brought along a peregrine falcon, a barn owl and a skunk for an engaging live animal show.

If you missed out on the fun, be sure to stop by the centre next summer for another season featuring free educational events and activities.

For more information on the Saunders Hydro Dam Visitor Centre, visit opg.com/eastern.