Whistler residents urged to get interactive 

The Community Habitat Resource Project has secured funding for the creation of an interactive Web site that the community can view and provide input about Whistler’s natural habitat.

The first phase of the Web site is expected to be available online by mid-September.

The project aims to collect all observations made by Whistler residents about their surroundings, such as recording the types of birds seen at their feeder or a map of their own backyard.

"Many species or areas of Whistler’s environment have never been studied, and a lot of work will have to be done to gather this information," said project facilitator Stephane Perron.

"The community will therefore be encouraged to record environmental information and provide it to the Web site," he said.

To assist this process the Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group will be offering a "barefoot mapping" workshop for the community on B.C. River’s Day, Sept. 21.

The maps on the Web site will not be interactive initially.

"It will take some time to get the system fully functioning, and the site is likely to be under construction for a few months," said Perron.

"However, by mid-September it is hoped that users will be able to log on to the CHRP Web site to obtain information about the progress of the project, and hopefully view a few static maps," he said.

These maps will display information such as habitat distribution of Whistler birds by a Whistler naturalist and baseline habitat mapping by the municipality.

Online maps have been available since the early 1990s but the possibility for the user to choose which information they want displayed on the maps, or to add information to the maps, has only been possible since the late 1990s.

The CHRP is an a joint partnership by the municipality, one business group, and nine local community groups and is funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Whistler.

The Whistler Museum and Archives Society is playing a major role in the administration of the project.

For further information contact Stephane Perron at 604-938-0945.

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