Located at the Hornby Island Community School, the Natural History Centre is home to a wide ranging exhibit focusing on the animals, plants, and geology of Hornby Island. See our beautiful collection of local birds and our exhibit of fossils found on Hornby such as the backbones of a mosasaur. Through programs and displays the Centre provides an opportunity to learn about the creatures with whom we share our island and education on Hornby’s geographically distinctive and highly biodiverse land and marine life. We have a variety of hands on learning activities for children of all ages. Visitors can also walk through the Ethnobotanical Native Plant Demonstration Garden, located just outside the entrance and open anytime. Part of each plant in the garden have been used for food or medicine by one or several of the Northwest Coast First Peoples.
During July and August, the Centre is open from Tuesdays – Saturdays. Summer programming includes Nature Field Trips and an Expert Speakers Series. The nature walks provide an excellent opportunity to discover shoreline and forest ecosystems as well as Hornby’s unique geology. These summer field trips are great fun for the whole family. The Expert Speakers Series is held in the Community School Library.
From October – May, the Centre is open one day per week. The Natural History Centre participates in School Community Programming year round by creating and presenting students with opportunities to connect aspects of natural history to school themes.
The Natural History Centre is run by a committee of volunteer stewards: Tina Wai, Norma Wilson, Neil Wilson, Barb Biagi, Bill Hamilton, Ruth Goldsmith, Verlie Gilligan, Joan Brears, Sally Englund, and Michaela Brooke. Sarat Colling is the year-round project coordinator. In the summer, a university student gives tours of the Centre. The Centre operates with the generous support of Judy and Isaac Thau.
Wildlife cards by a local photographer are available at the Centre as a fundraiser.