Whistler’s first wildlife viewing platform was officially opened last week, thanks to the combined efforts of the municipality, local realtors and the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment. Soon to be a regular stop on AWARE’s monthly birdwalks, the platform is at the north end of Alta Lake, just off the Valley Trail, in one of the largest remaining wetlands in the valley. "We hope to raise awareness and interest in wetlands and the wildlife associated with them," AWARE President Max Gotz said of the platform and its location. The wildlife platform, which sits about seven feet above the ground, provides spectacular views of the wetlands and surrounding areas at the north end of the lake, and offers a panoramic view of the mountains. The platform was funded by the Association of Whistler Realtors’ Festival of Lights. Staff from the municipality’s Parks and Recreation department helped with siting and co-ordinating the project. Don Bigger engineered the platform and Neaga Woodcraft built it, with assistance from AWARE volunteers. Open to all, the wildlife viewing platform is used by AWARE on its birdwalks, which take place the first Saturday morning of each month.