Nature learning for all ages
During the summer months, we offer Thetis Islanders and visitors of all ages a wide variety of art- and science-based educational events at our Nature House located on a 70-acre waterfront property known as The Portal which is dedicated to nature education, stewardship, conservation and local food production. Programming includes nature excursions, guest speakers, a Junior Biologists program, nature art, science education, and documentary films, and is planned and delivered by students hired under the Canada Summer Jobs program, with the assistance of 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.
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.
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. Most recently, it was used by the Project -Re- Generation group who could not get enough of it. They closely monitored it every day and even created names for the numerous critters within. Local divers and biologists stock the Seaquarium with all sorts of species. Using the Seaquarium, students learn about the biology and ecology of marine fishes and invertebrates on display, and play a role in helping to maintain this little home.
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.