The Steward’s Winter 2022 Update 

Dear Hornby Island Natural History Centre supporters,

As the year draws to a close, this holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on our accomplishments, give thanks for the support of our community, and plan for the year ahead. The Hornby Island Natural History Centre re-opened on July 1, 2022, in our new space on the corner of Sollans and Central. We are thrilled to finally have a new home. This past year has been filled with a flurry of activity beginning with reimagining our space as a place where visitors can learn about the complexity of relationships in the natural world through an exploration of exhibits filled with objects and information loosely organized around rocks and fossils, the sea, the air, and the land. Our new resource area is filled with books and activities for everyone, especially children and families. 

Highlights from this past year include:

– In July and August, hosting visitors in our new Centre, accompanied by summer programming that reintroduced our successful nature walks and talks and launched Forest Family Circles, a new outdoor family program led by an Indigenous educator, each week focusing on something special in the exhibition, exploring it through storytelling, art, science, and movement.

– All the Hornby Island Community School students and children from the Hornby Island Daycare toured the Centre this fall and generated ideas for how they would like to use the exhibition throughout the year as a resource to enhance and extend their curriculum. Recently the senior class were drawing birds of their choice with great observation skills and focus.

– Ongoing research in partnership with the Hakai Institute and the Sentinels of Change Project studying the Dungeness crab in Ford’s Cove, with elementary school students participating, has provided valuable data about our changing climate.

– More citizen science, again with student participation which we facilitate, and in partnership with BC Parks and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Science, encouraging the propagation of the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly by growing and then planting native grasses in Helliwell Provincial Park, introducing and tracking larvae and the new butterflies as the season unfolds.

Your generous contributions enable us to be open to visitors and offer insightful programs about our interconnectedness with the natural world. More than ever, we count on your donations to care for our collection and to be available to the community throughout the year. Currently our limited budget does not allow us to expand the programs we offer to the community. We are keeping our school programs going by volunteering as usual.  We’ve got ideas on hold for Saturday openings and programs for adults and children. Your generosity can change that. Thank you for your continued support.

There are several ways to donate to Natural History:

– Via the HIES Canada Helps Donate Page: Click Here for the page. Under “Fund” you can select the Natural History Centre from the drop-down options. 

– By cheque: Address cheques to HIES / Hornby Natural History Centre and mail to: HIES / Natural History, 2100 B Sollans Road, Hornby Island, BC, V0R 1Z0. 

– By e-transfer: Send e-transfer to and indicate that you are donating to the Natural History Centre.You will receive a tax receipt for all donations over $25. 

With warm wishes for the holiday season and high hopes and dreams for the New Year,

The stewards of the Hornby Island Natural History Centre

The students at Hornby Island Community School partnering with The Natural History Centre and Hornby Island Diving on the Sentinels of Change Project studying Dungeness Crab in the Salish Sea.
Jenna Rudolph of Soaring Eagle Nature School leads forest walk participants in identifying plant families. Jenna introduced us to a variety of edible and medicinal plants.

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