As we settle into winter here in Nova Scotia, I often find it hard to believe that our grey, frozen province can be the same place it was during the sunny summer months. It’s on these chilly November days that I like to look back to the time of sunshine – so what better time than now to reminisce about the Back to the Sea Society’s Touch Tank Hut season!
This summer was a big one for the Touch Tank Hut building. After being closed for the entirety of the previous season due to COVID-19 and being moved across the parking lot of Alderney Landing, the Back to the Sea staff had a whale of a time giving the building some much needed TLC. Watching the Touch Tank Hut come together was truly an incredible sight! Once the building was in back in order and our animals collected, we knew we were officially ready to welcome our visitors.
We had to make sure that the outside was looking as good as the inside!
It’s amazing how much stuff can fit into a one-room building! Thankfully we were able to sort it all.
Just your average day at the Touch Tank Hut!
Speaking of visitors, we were so happy to welcome every single one of the 1,681 people who came through our doors this summer! People young and old were able to experience not only the Touch Tank Hut’s animals, but also the outdoor programming we developed this summer season. We loved being able to take visitors outside to paint shells, learn about coastal geology, make mini scuba divers, and clean up oil spills! Outdoor programming was a new adventure for us, and one we’re very happy to have done.
The Touch Tank Hut is for everybody, no matter how small!
Shell we Paint?! was definitely our most popular program! We loved seeing everybody’s creative sides as they painted their oyster shells.
Our work didn’t just stay at the Touch Tank Hut, however. Our interpreters not only visited summer camps throughout the season, but we also ran Tidal Trekkers, the intertidal exploration program that we started as a COVID-19 pivot but proved so popular we had to bring it back! I had some of the best moments of my summer splashing through the shallow waters of the North West Arm and McCormacks Beach alongside curious visitors, finding the intertidal species I cared for every day at the Touch Tank Hut in the wild.
It was awesome to be able to take our critters to summer camps!
We’re so happy that you all enjoyed Tidal Trekkers enough to have us bring it back!
Another reason the Touch Tank Hut had such a great season is due to our amazing staff! Back to the Sea was able to hire 5 staff this summer, including our Executive Director Magali Grégoire, Animal Care Lead Sarah Holleran, Volunteer Coordinator Maka Ngulube, Interpreter Lindsay Wamboldt, and myself, the Communications Coordinator. This amazing group of staff truly made the summer, and I’m so happy I got to work with all of them. Ladies, if you’re reading this: cheers to an awesome season!
The dream team! From left to right: Lindsey, Maka, Magali, Sarah, and Sarah.
Even though it’s cold and grey outside right now, the memories of this summer at the Touch Tank Hut serve to remind me that someday, in however many months, the sun will be shining and the Touch Tank Hut will be open once more. Until then, however, memories will have to do!