For the past five winters, Brock Bailey and Paul Cailleaux have been feeding the local ducks at Cottonwood Island Park that have over wintered during the long winter months.
Both Paul and Brock are long time members of the local Ducks Unlimited chapter and are strong advocates for the conservation of our local wetlands and the waterfowl, wildlife, and habitats that come along with them. In the past they have relied on the generosity of donors in the community, and largely from dollars from their own pockets, but one manager at Pacific Western Brewing heard their story and pledged to help.
“I heard what they were doing to help ensure the local ducks could survive our tough winters and thought it would be pretty great if PWB could step up to support them,” said Kelly Olson, Brewmaster of Pacific Western Brewing, and employee for nearly 40 years. “One of our core company values is giving back, and we always have a significant supply of malted barley on hand here at the brewery as it’s one of our key ingredients for making beer, so I reached out to Brock to see how we could help.”
The brewmaster and his team use a wide range of malts, barleys, hops, and other ingredients to brew their 16 and counting unique beers, as well as the growing number of vodka and cider beverages the company offers; all of which are locally made right here in Prince George.
“Getting the call from Kelly [Olson] was a really exciting moment for Paul and myself. As you know, we can have harsh winters here in Prince George, and one of the greatest difficulties for the ducks that over winter is the unpredictability of when the winter will begin or end, and then of course trying to source food when supply is naturally short,” said Bailey. “At first when Kelly called, we talked about just how much feed it takes to keep the ducks properly fed throughout the winter, but then the conversation quickly turned to the logistical side of things about how we will get the grain, and how frequently we would pick it up.”
When Olson first raised the idea of supporting these two volunteers the idea was met with enthusiasm and support from President, Owner and CEO, Taizan Komatsu. PWB has regularly contributed to fundraising initiatives of Ducks Unlimited over the past couple of decades and continues to support a wide range of groups and organizations that focus on environment or wildlife conservation and preservation.
“After talking with Brock, we came up with a number of about 3,000 pounds of grain that they can access as they require,” Olson. “We will be storing the grain with our regular stock and taking what they need from it on an ongoing basis until natural food sources start to return for the ducks again. I for one am extremely proud of PWB’s commitment to these guys, and I know our entire team here at the brewery is proud of not just this, but any time we can get out there and give back to our hometown community.
“But let’s not forget that this is not PWB’s initiative, this is Brock and Paul stepping up on their own to ensure the important work is being done towards wildlife conservation, and we at PWB are just happy to support them in a way that they are not financially burdened by this endeavour personally.”
“We are very grateful for PWB’s willingness to support our work of feeding the ducks,” said Bailey. “The grains they are giving us certainly won’t cover 100 per cent of what we need, but it will ensure that we are not left stranded without a regular supply to have the birds fed and taken care of. PWB’s support will go a long way and will guarantee we get through the winter months until the weather turns, and we see natural food sources return and we hope this exciting new partnership between us, and Prince George’s Brewery will continue for years to come.”
He added they continue to have strong support from the community, but if anyone else from our community would like to contribute, they are grateful for any source of support. You can contact them through Ducks Unlimited here in Prince George and they will pick up any donations that are made available or left at Spruce Capital Feeds.