Manitoba Merv predicted winter will end soon at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre Feb. 2. (Juliet Kadzviti/The Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times)
Manitobans can look forward to an early spring, according to Oak Hammock Marsh’s furry groundhog Manitoba Merv. The famous puppet didn’t see his shadow on the morning of Feb. 2 at the interpretive centre, indicating spring is on its way, relative to Manitoban weather.
Merv has been predicting the weather for 24 years and has been right just about every time, OHM’s Jacques Bourgeois said.
“He’s got a pretty good track record. He was wrong once (only),” he explained.
Bourgeois noted Merv’s prediction was not the only yearly milestone being celebrated at OHM that day.
“It’s our 25th anniversary here at OHM and it’s also World Wetlands Day, which is a celebration of wetlands around the world,” he said.
He added the yearly celebration of wetlands is sometimes difficult in the winter as they are largely frozen over, but there is still plenty to do.
“We try to make the best of it by having various activities to show the importance of wetlands. We (had) some snowshoe walks in the marsh to see what kind of wildlife is still here in the winter. We also (had) a special game of shuffle duck. We also talked about how wildlife is important here and how this is a great place for people to be,” he explained.
The centre also has a new exhibit that educates visitors on the watersheds.
“It’s an augmented reality watershed. We can recreate different watersheds and show (visitors) how water is affected by the landscape (around it),” Bourgeois said.
“So for example, if there wasn’t a wetland here, we would have much more severe floods. Wetlands also clean water, as they are natures natural filter. They also provide habitats for countless wildlife and are great for recreation too- canoeing and exploring- so there’s lots of good valuable use to wetlands.”
The OHM Interpretive Centre was opened in May 1993.