Anyone looking for reasons to venture into the great outdoors, or are maybe just curious to learn more about local flora and fauna will be in good company at Nature Nanaimo.
The Nanaimo nature club was created in 2017 as a society with a mission to promote the enjoyment, public interest and understanding of local nature and to assist and support conservation of healthy ecosystems.
The club currently has about 120 members who meet eight times a year in public meetings, go on nature rambles – basically social walks followed with a pub lunch – and even participate in members-only ventures to places of special interest.
“We’re still in the building phase and trying to get the message out there that we’re here and what we do,” said Staffan Lindgren, club president. “It’s for people who are interested in the the natural world, whether it’s biology, plants, animals or whatever and also we have public meetings with expert speakers and sometimes, maybe not experts in the traditional sense, but people that have done something interesting.”
At the club’s October meeting, Dave Manning of Pender Island presented The Old Man and the Vultures, a tale of how he became hooked on studying vultures when he stumbled upon a turkey vulture chick peeking out from its nest and the fascinating things he has learned about North America’s vulture species in the years since. Manning published a book by the same title.
Presenters also come from other clubs. Chris Boar, president of Nanaimo Astronomy Club, gave Nature Nanaimo members an introduction to practical astronomy.
“We meet once a month except for December, June, July and August, so essentially eight meetings a year that are public meetings,” Lindgren said. “In addition we have two socials.”
The meetings and outings are a good way to get to know what nature has to offer in and around town. Lindgren said many people are unaware of what is around them, such as the Harewood Plains near Cinnabar Valley.
“It’s just a fantastic place,” he said. “In April, May the whole place is in flower and a lot of people don’t even know that it exists, so by joining up, they find out about things like that. We’ve done fossil walks and some of these things will be revisited.”
Various projects are also planned as the club gains more members. Nature Nanaimo is currently seeking funds to build Purple Martin nest boxes to replace original boxes set up in the 1980s.
“It’s sort of an opportunity for people to meet like-minded people and get know people who like to do the same kinds of things,” Lindgren said.
To learn more about Nature Nanaimo, visit www.naturenanaimo.ca.