Victoria Natural History Society

Sharing a love of nature since 1944.

1) Who are you?

Victoria Natural History Society

2) What does your group do?

The Victoria Natural History Society formed in 1944 and currently has about 750 members. We are a completely volunteer-run organization. Members have developed their interest in nature in a wide variety of ways—some are professional biologists, others are students, most are amateur or volunteer naturalists. VNHS provides an opportunity for those interested in the natural world to come together to share their ideas and experiences.

The primary objectives of the Society are:

• To stimulate active interest in natural history
• To study and protect flora and fauna and their habitats
• To work with other societies and like bodies having interests in common with this Society.

3) When does your group meet?

The Victoria Natural History Society offers many field trips and presentations each month for its members. Evening presentations are open to the public, but field trips are designed for members. Guests may join for up to three trips, after which they are expected to join the Society. See our calendar for details.

4) What is your geographical jurisdiction with respect to the Colquitz watershed?

We are the CRD’s nature club, so we are interested in the entire region.

5) What projects have you accomplished with respect to the Colquitz watershed?

• Viaduct Flats Viewing Platform
• The Floating Boardwalk at Swan Lake
• Quicks Bottom Viewing Blind
• Blenkinsop Lake Viewing Blind
• The spotting scope and interpretive signage on the Viaduct Flats Viewing Platform
• Waterfowl signage at King’s Pond
• Input into the conservation of waterfowl nesting & resting sites between Beaver and Elk Lakes that were being disturbed by the rowers.

6) What are your current projects with respect to the Colquitz watershed?

Interested in Panama Flats planning process as well as Elk/Beaver Lake and Rithet’s Bog. We always have a representative on the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Board as well.

We continue to financially support the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary ($5000/year) with their public outreach/education programming about flora and fauna that live in the sanctuary (which is of course an important component of the watershed). In 2015 we gave $75,000 in funding for the boardwalk- this allowed for critical replacement through the willows – and we continue to support and promote the “Give a sheet” campaign they are undertaking to finish the span that crosses the lake.

We have representation on the Viaduct Flats Management Committee and we have recently met and committed, with Saanich Parks, Saanich Environmental Services, and the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific, to decommission a trail in the covenant area that causes continuous disturbance to wildlife using the wetland and adjacent upland area. This will occur in the fall of 2017 and involve new signage explain the closure, new wayfinding signage, and new interpretive signage at the two existing viewing stations. This closure has come at the recommendation of a report by a Qualified Environmental Professional commissioned by the Management Committee.

We are a partner in the Urban Sanctuaries project, which includes the Colquitz estuary in the inlet. New handouts produced by CRD were edited by VNHS volunteers and we are helping to distribute them at public events.

7) How can others participate in your groups’ projects? Are there any requirements?

New members welcome!

8) How is your group funded?

Membership fees.

9) Contact info:

Victoria Natural History Society
P.O. Box 5220, Station B
Victoria, BC, V8R 6N4