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Nature House

Nature learning for all ages

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During the summer months we offer Thetis Islanders and visitors of all ages a wide variety of art- and science-based educational events through our Nature House program. Activities takes place throughout the community and at the Nature House, which is located at The Portal (254 North Cove Road), a 70-acre waterfront property dedicated to nature education, stewardship, conservation and local food production. Programming includes nature excursions, guest speakers, a Young Naturalists program, nature art, science education, and documentary films, and is planned and delivered by youth hired under the Canada Summer Jobs program, with the assistance of the ThINC team and community volunteers.

Want to be a "Friend of the Nature House"?

Friends of the Nature House memberships give you unlimited summer-long access to the Nature House for most of our activities, events, Seaquarium, library book loan, and much more! Memberships are available for purchase at the Nature House or by filling out the relevant portion of the ThINC annual membership form.

Seaquarium

The Seaquarium is a phenomenal learning tool, bringing the magic of the ocean world into the classroom. It sometimes lives at the one-room Thetis Island Elementary School where it provides a wonderful educational experience for the kindergarten to Grade 7 students, and was used by the Project -Re- Generation group who could not get enough of it. Each summer it cleaned and restocked for the Nature House program, July - August. 

 

Local divers and biologists stock the Seaquarium with all sorts of species. Using the Seaquarium, visitors learn about the biology and ecology of marine fishes and invertebrates on display, and play a role in helping to maintain this little home. 

The sea critters are known as 'ambassadors of their species', and after their short stint in the seaquarium, they are released back into the waters they call home.

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Guest Speakers and Workshops

As an extension of our summer programs, we offer occasional nature education and stewardship events during the fall, winter and spring months at various locations on and near Thetis Island. Some examples include a marine bird trip and talk by an ornithologist, a walk and talk with a mushroom specialist, a butterfly and dragonfly walk with an entomologist, and a marine nearshore restoration workshop in partnership with SeaChange Marine Conservation Society and Polster Engineering which resulted in the restoration of a collapsing bank at St. Margaret’s Cemetery using live willow staking.

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Pollinator Garden at the Nature House

Volunteers built and continue to maintain a pollinator demonstration garden at the Nature House to provide forage for native pollinators such as bumble bees, dragonflies, and hummingbirds. The garden serves as a wonderful educational venue.

Check out this Southern Vancouver Island Bee Identification Guide to learn your bees.

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