The Scout Island Nature Centre is a community centre for people and wildlife. It is a nature sanctuary where living things and their habitat are protected. Considered an important wildlife viewing area in the province of BC, it is a place where people can enjoy and learn about nature in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. The land and waters of the Nature Centre, owned mostly by the Nature Trust of BC, are designated as a public nature education facility.
It is operated by the Williams Lake Field Naturalists in cooperation with the Nature Trust of BC and the City of Williams Lake.
The Nature Centre is supported by members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, Friends of Scout Island (individual and local business and organization donors), partners, granting agencies and many volunteers. It is a charitable organization.
Nature Centre Goals
The Scout Island Nature Centre Management Plan provides details about the leases, history and goals of the Nature Centre. In summary, the goals are to:
- offer nature education and interpretation to all ages
- conserve the Nature Centre's wildlife habitat, vegetation and other natural values
- provide a natural place for viewing wildlife and plants, facilitated by a system of walking trails
- be a community gathering place for natural history programs, conservation discussions, natural history research, and ideas and actions for ecological sustainability
Our nature education programs are designed to encourage the bond between people and nature. The Nature Centre is a member of the Child and Nature Alliance, an initiative focused on fostering a closer connection between children and the natural world. We recognize that "daily life" does not encourage or even allow children to explore the natural world. We want to develop more opportunities for children and families to reconnect with nature. Our programs offer hands-on experiences with nature that help to develop empathy with and appreciation for the natural world; that can lead people into a life-long stewardship of the Earth.
A summary of yearly accomplishments and programs can be found in the annual report [PDF - 700k].
Lively discussion at the Nature House
Williams Lake Field Naturalists
The Directors and members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists have met the challenge of managing Scout Island Nature Centre since 1978. Through their volunteer efforts, programs and materials are developed, staff hired and trained, funds raised, trails repaired, weeds pulled, boardwalks built, bird nest boxes put up, grassland garden maintained, and much more.
Fred McMechan, President
Jim Sims, Vice President
Katharine Van Spall, Treasurer
Rick Dawson, Director
Ordell Steen, Secretary
Nola Daintith, Director
Cathy Koot, Director
Rob Higgins, Director
Scout Island Nature Centre Staff
Environmental Educator: Sue Hemphill
Environmental Educator: Mary Forbes
Environmental Educator: Julianne Trelenberg
Coordinator: Jenny Noble
Discovery Pre School Teachers: Margret Onnekin and Barb Langford
Youth Staff: Every year 2-3 university students and 1-2 high school students are hired and trained to be Teacher Naturalists. They lead the spring and summer programs.
If you are interested in being part of the Nature Centre staff please send a cover letter and resume to our .
Support the Nature Centre
The elected executive of the WLFN is the volunteer administrative body for the operation of Scout Island Nature Centre.
Funding is used to:
- employ staff, including the coordinator, educators, teacher naturalists, preschool teachers, bookkeeper and janitor
- carry out repairs or improvements to the Nature House and Nature Centre area and
- purchase educational services and supplies.
Funds have come from public fund-raising appeals, annual Nature Centre banquets, fee-for-service from the City of Williams Lake, grants from provincial and federal agencies, grants from foundations, donations from local businesses, and a donation box at the Nature House.
Scout Island Nature Centre Partners
Canadian Wildlife Federation
Cariboo Foundation - Jean Waite
Cariboo Regional District
City of Williams Lake
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Service Centre Canada (Summer Job Program)
Province of British Columbia
School District 27
Williams Lake Field Naturalists
Scout Island Nature Centre Supporters
BC Nature (Federation Of British Columbia Naturalists)
Cariboo Foundation-Anonymous donor
Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Kiwanis Club of Williams Lake
Pacific Salmon Foundation
Parent Advisory Committees-Columneetza and Home School
Rotary Clubs of Williams Lake
The Nature Trust of British Columbia
Friends of the Environment Foundation
UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest
United Way-Success by Six
Williams Lake Lions Club
Williams Lake Lioness Club
And the many other individual community members and businesses who donated their time, funding, and ideas. Scout Island Nature Centre could not continue to offer the natural history programs, the tonic of wilderness to our community or the protected space for wildlife in our urban setting without their support.
You Can Help!
Donate Funds or Materials (charitable receipts will be issued for each donation). Donation form.
Donate Time - Volunteering is Rewarding. There is a range of volunteer opportunities including:
- nature interpretation,
- restoration with native plants,
- trail construction,
- removal of invasive plants,
- research, development of booklets and displays (art work always needed),
- helping with (or leading) children and family programs and being an interpreter at the nature house.
For most volunteer positions, an interest in natural history and a love of the outdoors is all that is required, but we are also happy to train you if you want to be more of an expert.
Scout Island Nature Centre / Williams Lake Field Naturalists is a registered charitable organization that needs your involvement to continue to offer a nature sanctuary for all to enjoy and learn from.
SCOUT ISLAND NATURE CENTRE
1305 A Borland Road,
Williams Lake BC,
250 398 8532
For more information about this season's programs or to book a program call or .