Nature Vancouver

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Nature Vancouver

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Other form(s) of name

  • Vancouver Natural History Society [1918-2006]

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Dates of existence


In 1907, a number of Vancouver and district residents founded the Vancouver Naturalists' Field Club for the study of the natural history of the Lower Mainland. The first field trip was made to Kitsilano beach on 18 August. The club existed for only a few seasons. In 1918, members of the botanical section of the B.C. Mountaineering Club, led by Professor John Davidson (former Provincial Botanist), founded the Vancouver Natural History Society. Davidson organized popular evening botany classes for members of the society. The V.N.H.S. also developed a field trip program to sites of botanical interest such as Crescent Beach, and summer camps were established at Garibaldi, Botanie Valley (near Spences Bridge) and Skagit Valley, as well as several other locations. In an effort to make the Lower Mainland greener, local naturalists, including members of the Natural History Society, successfully campaigned for local arbour days. Yet the activities of the society have not focused only on botany. Field trips organized and led by Jack Armstrong, Bill Mathews and Charley Ney popularized the study of geology in the society. Members have also studied geology, entomology, ornithology, microscopy, and photography.

During recent decades the society has witnessed continued growth, as many members of the environmental movement have joined as a means of studying our natural heritage. In the 1960s, the Conservation Committee was established, which, in part, helped with the creation of the Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta, B.C. Another major project was the natural history study of Lighthouse Park, for which results were later published in “Nature West Coast.” During this time, participation in the Birding Section also increased resulting in projects such as local birding guides and observation data collected through the annual Christmas Bird Count. Over the next few decades, activities continued with field trips, summer camps, publications, programming and environmental and conservation initiatives. Organized tours around the province were incorporated into programming in the 1990s as well as the Young Naturalist Club. In 2002, the Marine Biology Section was formed. In 2007, the Vancouver Natural History Society changed its name to Nature Vancouver.


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Revised - 2018-07-30, KB




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