Kerry Wood Nature Centre
"Kerry" Wood came to Red Deer in 1918 as a youngster from New York. He spent his free moments wandering through the sanctuary, looking at and learning from the wildlife he encountered.
His interminable questions were answered by friendly librarians, by the native people he met in his wanderings and by friends in the Alberta Natural History Society.
In his mid-teens, Kerry Wood decided to
stay in Red Deer and make his own way as a writer while his parents moved to British Columbia. His first winter was a lean one, depending upon fish he could catch in the river, animals he could snare,
edible wild plants and gifts from friends. The hardships of that winter, his experiences as a scout and scout leader and his many years as the volunteer warden for the Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary provided Kerry
Wood with the stories that he set on paper. During his career, Kerry Wood wrote 6,200 short stories, 8,000 articles, 9,000 newspaper columns and hundreds of television and radio programs.
In 1986 a Nature Centre named after Kerry
Wood was opened in the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary. Constructed with funds by the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund as part of the Urban Parks Program. The Kerry Wood Nature Centre is a park and federal migratory bird
sanctuary that offers an extensive program of natural history interpretation, major special events, school, youth group and public programs, daycamps and even sleepovers!
The Waskasoo Park Interpretive Program operates the city and district-wide interpretive and environmental education program. This includes managing the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Historic Fort Normandeau, Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary and the Allen Bungalow - an Alberta Registered Historic Resource.
The Nature Centre is is located at 6300 - 45 Avenue in Red Deer. For more information on the Nature Centre and its programs you can reach them by phone (403) 346-2010, fax (403) 347-2550, or online through its website
or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Kerry Wood Nature Centre is open year-round, closing only on Christmas day.
Kerry "Nobby" Wood passed away peacefully at home on July 25, 1998 after a lengthy struggle with heart problems and cancer. His beloved Marjorie passed away from cancer on Sept. 21, 2002.
His stories live on in 24 books and numerous children's readers.
Among his many honours were the Order of Canada, the Order of the Bighorn, the Alberta Achievement Award, an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta and numerous life memberships in a variety of organizations with which he was connected.
On June 2, 2007, the Kerry Wood Nature Centre will be celebrating the 100th birthday of Kerry Wood with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by special ceremonies, nature walks, building tours, birthday cake and a rededication of the Sanctuary's original entrance markers.