The Board of Directors for the North American Game Warden Museum continue to fundraise to expand their endowment fund. This, to bring awareness to the profession of Canadian Conservation Officers and American Game Wardens.
The museum is located on the grounds of the International Peace Garden, however museum Board President, Sgt Blake Patterson, is a Conservation Officer in Swan River, Manitoba, being in the profession for some 17 years. He has been Board President for 7 years.
Conservation Officer, Conservation Police, Fish & Wildlife Officer, and Natural Resource Officer titles all fall under the general term 'Game Warden' which unites them all for the common goal of protecting our natural resources.
The museum was founded by a group of game wardens in the 1980's who wanted to better educate the public about what natural resource protection looks like. Patterson says the game warden profession is one of the most undermined organizations when it comes to public awareness, and many people who visit their museum are surprised by the vast array of duties that game wardens have across North America, including the many high risk situations they face on a regular basis.
He says raising awareness of the duties and dangers game wardens and conservations face every day is just part of the messaging. The second important mission for the North American Game Warden Museum is to honour those who have fallen in the line of duty.
"We have memorial cairns with every state and province in North America recognizing all the fallen officers listed," explains Patterson. "So, it's a one-of-a-kind institution in North America, of where all game wardens from the whole continent are recognized at one location all by themselves."
Patterson notes there are other memorial sites in North America that honor enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty, including police, marshals, RCMP, and game warden, etc. However, this is the only site that is dedicated to officers devoted specifically to protecting natural resources.
"So, educating the public as to what our job is, how our role helps to protect the environment, and we put the focus on youth growing up, helping them to better understand what game wardens do and what their role is, and then maybe they'll gain some of that interest and then join the profession," he adds.
All of the displays inside of the museum are actual cases that game wardens have experienced in the line of duty.
Please listen to more with Sgt Blake Patterson below as he shares more on the North American Game Warden Museum.
The International Peace Garden will be holding their Santa Day event and the opening of the newly constructed Conservatory which houses the cacti and succulent collection on Saturday, December 9th. The Game Warden Museum will also be open on December 9th from 11am - 4pm.
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Westman encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverWestman app.