Too Many Choices at the 2016 BC Nature Conference?

Trying to decide which of the over thirty activities you would like to take in during the 2016 BC Nature Conference and AGM? Some of the more popular Field Trips are almost fully booked, but there are lots of wonderful trips available. May we suggest the following.

MARS Friday, May 14th 1:30

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society is one of the jewels of the Comox Valley’s. It is more than just a rehabilitation centre.  It is also an environmental community and a learning centMaj-Birch1re open to the public, and as such a gateway to the Comox Valley’s environmental heart.  MARS was the creation of inimitable. and much loved, Maj Birch who passed away unexpectedly in November 2015. Maj Birch will always be one of the Comox Valley’s 3 great environmentalists (Melda Buchanan and Ruth Masters are the other two). She was a giant worth remembering and learning about by seeing her work.

Under Maj’s guidance MARS has been home to a number of citizen science projects that are ungoing to this day, such as the heron and eagle mapping project as well as the pymy owl monitoring and restoration project.  Take a moment to celebrate Maj’s extraordinary dream. The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society will explain the MARS project and also take you on a guided tour of their bird care and rehabilitation facility. With a bit a luck, you may even get to see the fledging Class of 2016. The MARS Ambassadors include a number of individuals who, for various reasons, cannot be returned to the wild. Two of them are Shakespeare a Barred Owl, and Scarlet, a Red-tailed hawk. For more, visit

Child Nature Education, Thursday May 12th, 8:30 am

Join Jarrett, the Director of Cumberland’s Hand-In-Hand Early Years Nature Education Program, for an educational and inspiring workshop at Coal Creek Historic Park, Cumberland. Jarrett brings 16 years of environmental education to the Valley, with experience in teaching and learning with children from preschoolers to grade 12 in an outdoor setting and exposing youth to our wonderful world of nature.

For more on Jarrett’s work with Hand-in-Hand, visit the “In Focus Magazine” clipping:

Allan Brooks and Mac Laing Tour, Friday May 13th, 1:30 pm

Allan Brooks (1869 to 1946) was a internationally known bird artist and ornithologist who moved to Comox after 1918. He organized the first Comox Valley Christmas Bird Count in 1921.  His work was featured in numerous publications including National Geographic Magazine in the early 1920’s and 1930’s, and Birds of Canada (Taverner, 1934). For more on Allan brooks visit

Ornithologist and naturalist writer Hamilton Mack Laing (1883 to 1982) moved to the Comox Valley in 1922. A visionary, in 1929 Laing wrote an article “Oil – Black Death of Waterbirds – The Bird World Faces a New Menace – Oil – Polluted Waters – A Tragedy on the West Coast”, sadly still a concern to us  86 years later.  For more information visit

The tour will include walking the Laing property and viewing the magnificent Comox harbour he loved so much.







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