NatureKids Vancouver

Volunteer co-leaders: Leslie Bol & Barbara Everdene

The Vancouver NatureKids Club is supported by Nature Vancouver. Guests are welcome for one outing and then must take out a membership to participate. Members and guests must pre-register.

Meet your Volunteer Leaders!

I am Leslie Bol, I am a wildlife biologist with an education in herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles). As part of my job I get to do field work as you can see from the photo of me holding a horned lizard in the great basin desert of Nevada. Did you know they shoot blood from their eye as an anti-predator defense? Check it out here. So cool!

Last year, I was doing songbird and waterfowl surveys in Nunavut. If you’d like to see photos of the raptor survey I did in the same area last year see this link!  I look forward to meeting all of you.

Barbara Everdene is a community planner (alumnus of UBC’s School of Community and Regional Planning) and mother of two children who enjoy the NatureKids program. Barbara manages the West Coast Environmental Law’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund and over five years has worked with hundreds of community groups across British Columbia to preserve forests, lands and park and ensure that industry is held to high environmental standards. She has also spent a decade working on community development projects across the Middle East, Central and South Asia. She feels very fortunate to call British Columbia home, and aspires to really get to know BC’s beautiful places with her children, agreeing with Marcel Proust that “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”. Barbara looks forward to getting to know NatureKids families and sharing her love of wild places close to home.

Upcoming Explorer Days 

NOTE: **Members please pre-register at contact information above**

Sat. May 13th
Bird Photography & NatureKids AGM
9 am - noon 
Stanley Park
Stanley Park Pavilion, 610 Pipeline Road, Vancouver

Children are instinctively inquisitive; of both nature itself and also of the wonderful new technologies that surround them every day. Photographing birds is the perfect activity to capture these fascinations.

Please join us and get tips from Nature Mentor wildlife photographer Michael on how to find some of Vancouver's most beautiful birds and how anyone can get beautiful shots of them. Even learn about some of the best places locally to photograph all kinds of birds, from Anna's hummingbirds to wood ducks!

Past Explorer Days

Aboriginal Cultural Program (Cheakamus Centre, Squamish)
March 12, 2017, from 9:30-3:00 pm
Cheakamus Centre, 2170 Paradise Valley Road, Squamish, BC 
$35.00 per person for the first 20 registrants that submit payment by Friday, February 24th. 

Check out this lovely short video that provides an overview of the this one-day cultural program. Families will experience a traditional Coast Salish Bighouse and the beautiful Cheakamus river surroundings, with Squamish and Lil’wat Nation members leading workshops in traditional arts and making lunch together over the fire using traditional methods. See email for agenda. Please RSVP through the link provided by email.

Tobogganing and Tubing at Cypress
Sunday, January 29th – 10:30 AM to 1 PM 
Cypress Mountain (6000 Cypress Bowl Road)

It’s the perfect year for snow play so Nature Kids will be meeting up at Cypress Mountain for toboganning and tubing! Cypress has two areas for snow play, basically categorized by age:

1) Gnarly’s Tubing Park – for children and adults 6+ or 42 inches
This is fast-paced and fun for older children. There are 6 chutes roughly 100 meters in length and a tube tow to do the work of bringing you back to the top. Equipment is included and there is a 2 hour time limit for your ticket (it can be extended for an additional fee).

2) Children’s Sliding Areas – for children 5 and under and their adults
This area has a gentle slope with a 4 meter elevation drop over 25 meters. It is designed for children under 6 years old and is small enough for children to walk up and slide down on their own. Children must be supervised by an adult. You need to bring your own sled. NOTE: It is very difficult to find any sleds in stores due to all the snow this year, so if you have extra equipment and space to bring it, please consider sharing with others in the Club!

EcoBlitz and Lunch at Surrey Bend Regional Park
10-1:30 Sunday October 23, 2016
17775 104 Avenue, Surrey, BC

We will help Metro Vancouver Regional Parks again this year (like we did last year at Iona) to conduct some habitat restoration activities and plant some native plants! We'll help contribute to establishing a riparian forest. Please wear sturdy boots or rubber boots, all other equipment will be provided (i.e shovels and gloves). Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to the email. 

Nature Walk & Solstice Cookout at Centennial Beach
Sunday, October 2, 3 PM – 6 PM to 6:30 PM 
 Centennial Beach, Delta (meet at the playground)

We have planned a fun outing at Centennial Beach to explore the beautiful Boundary Bay Park area (at Centennial Beach) with Tom Bearss of the Delta Naturalists Society as our nature mentor and the Delta NatureKids club as our special guests. Come anytime between 3:00 to 4:00 to enjoy the amazing playground and beach area. From 4:00-5:00 pm Tom will lead us to explore some of the resident birds and perhaps lead a scavenger hunt! 

Around 5 pm we will be asking interested and intrepid parents to help us chop some wood for the fire and to have a lovely campfire on the beach. With thanks to Nature Vancouver for their sponsorship, the Club will supply hot dogs (beef and vegetarian), buns, condiments, hot chocolate, and of course marshmallows. If you would like to bring a potluck side, that would be welcome but definitely not required. You are also welcome to make a small donation for food to extend our budget for the year if you would like. If anyone happens to have an axe or a roasting stick, please bring them along!

Dragon Boating on False Creek and snack in Creekside Park
Lobby of Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way Date: Sunday, August 28th
9:30 AM – noon (picnic at noon)
DragonboatBC offers group on-water dragonboat paddling adventures. Families will have 1.5 hours of activities that start with basic paddling and end with fun races. Professional coaches teach students the proper technique of dragon boat paddling. All equipment provided including boats, personal flotation devices and paddles. The boating will take place rain or shine. Please bring hats and water bottles to hydrate!

Nature Vancouver Summer Social
Tuesday, July 12th
1 - 4 pm
Van Dusen Gardens, 37th and Oak, Cedar Room
Join Nature Vancouver for a (hopefully sunny) summer day at Van Dusen!

Sunday, June 26th
Bee Safari
12 PM – 2 PM
 and feel free to stay and play
Oak Meadows Park
Meet at the insect hotel (a large structure at the roadside) near the northeast corner of Oak St & 37th St (see email for directions)
Please RSVP using link sent by email 

Let's go bee spotting! Join Nature Mentor Lori Weidenhammer, aka Madame Beespeaker as we go on a bee safari in Oak Meadows Park. We'll examine the pollinator hotel and see if any bees are checking in and laying eggs.We'll see some examples of flowers that feed bees the nectar they need for energy and the pollen they feed to their brood. We'll learn tips about enjoying bees while practising safety precautions to protect you and the bees. Learn more about the bees that don't make honey, don't have a queen and don't even sting! We’re also going to build in some unstructured time for children to explore and get to know each other.

UBC Botanical Garden

Sunday, May 15th

12 PM – 2 PM

UBC Botanical Garden, 6804 SW Marine Drive (map)

PLS NOTE Cost: Our club will cover the cost of children's tickets (valued at $13 each) and we ask adults to cover their own costs - see admissions for general information, we are still confirming rates for our group tour and prices will depend on registration numbers. 

Please RSVP via the link sent to your email.  Space limited to 20. 

We will be guided high into the treetop canopy to explore UBC Botanical Garden’s 308m long aerial adventure where we will observe plants and animals from 21m above the forest floor! We will learn about forests, biomes and ecosystems, and have time for some exploration of other areas of the garden.

Saturday May 7th
8 - 10am
Iona Beach Regional Park

Cost: $1 per family member, please bring change

We are pleased to be invited to the WildResearch bird banding station again at Iona Beach Regional Park. This was a very popular tour in September. We will be looking at the mist nets where the birds are caught and visiting the banding station where we'll be able to see birds up close and learn about their behaviour. Remember to bring your binoculars and bird guides if you have them!

WildResearch asks that each participant attending IIBO (children and adults) contribute $1 towards a day membership to WildResearch. Additional donations to contribute towards keeping IIBO running are always appreciated.

Animal Detectives Sunday, April 24th 
2-4 PM
Strathcona Park, corner of Hawks and Malkin Avenue (see map)
Pre-registration required

Come join us in partnership with the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) to share our experiences of urban wildlife in one of Vancouver’s biggest (and least known) urban greenspaces and the EYA's newly planted wildlife garden. The EYA and the Strathcona Community Garden have been working this year to reclaim a part of our garden from invasive blackberry. We’re removed a lot of garbage and many blackberry plants, and planted hundreds of wildlife friendly trees, shrubs and forbs.

Our guest will be Project Manager Matthew Kemshaw who will share what has been done on site. He’ll be leading a Citizen Science investigation, giving kids detective work to do to discover and document the wild animals living in this huge biodiverse garden.

Mason Bee Release
Sunday April 10th, 2016
Jericho Beach Park 9:00am - Noon
We'll be helping with the mason bee release so that the bees can get busy pollinating! We'll help plant some flowering shrubs too so come dressed for the weather and ready to get dirty.

Email Nature Mentor Krista at to register

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
Sunday March 13th, 2016

I apologize for the short notice but we have the opportunity to pair with WildResearch members this weekend for one of their winter bird ID field trips. It will start at 10am but please arrive at 9:45 in order to pay for entry into the sanctuary and perhaps purchase some bird seed. Adults are $5 each and children $3 each. 

Fish Hatchery Visit
Saturday February 28, 2016
10:00 AM - Noon
Seymour Hatchery and Education Centre (
Nature Mentor: Jen Callaghan 

You will need to travel through the Rice Lake Gate to reach the hatchery. Gate staff will be expecting us and will provide directions to the site. For more details on finding the Centre, see this section of their website.

The Hatchery was established to enhance fish stocks in the Seymour River that have been cut off from their traditional spawning grounds by the construction of the Seymour Falls Dam. We will be finding out more about the fish raised here and the creation of new fish habitat!
Pre-registration is required. 

CommonGround Native Plant Printing & Gallery Tour
Saturday January 23, 2016
10:30am - 11:45am
Location: 808 Richards Street
We have booked a private tour of the Common Ground exhibit and a creative activity with ArtStarts. The exhibit explores relationships with the people, animals and plants in BC with drawing, weaving, felting, printmaking and embroidery. The exhibit touches on native and invasive plant species and the animals that depend on them, as well as the traditions of local Aboriginal cultures. We will be making our own prints of native plant species and learning more about them.

Hollyburn Meadows Snowshoeing Tour (Cypress)
Sunday January 10, 2016
11:45 AM – 1:45 PM (meet at 11:30 PM to put equipment on)
Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver (more specific information TBA)
The tour will be led by experienced and knowledgeable guides and will involve a two hour trek through snowy forests and gently sloping meadows and opportunities to look out for local birds and wildlife.

December 12th (at 9:00am)
Christmas Bird Count for Kids--- REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Stanley Park
1) The adventure begins with an indoor session including learning about birds and how to identify them and practice using binoculars.
2) Then we head outdoors! Each participant (and accompanying parent) will be part of a small birding team, led by an experienced birder, and will conduct a 1-1.5 hour bird survey in Stanley Park recording the number of bird species and individuals seen.
3) After the survey, all teams will re-group for lunch (bring your own) and we’ll tally up the bird numbers and compare sightings!

Mason Bee Workshop & Bee House Cleaning
Sunday November 8th
9 AM - 12 PM

 Jericho Sailing Club
Nature Mentor: Jericho Stewardship Group
Please RSVP using the link that was sent via email

Sunday October 25th, 2015
10 am - 1 pmIona Beach Eco Bioblitz Iona Beach Regional Park. Meet in the Iona Parking Lot near the Big Marsh
Nature Mentors: WildResearch and Metro Vancouver Regional Parks

The event occurs in conjunction with Metro Vancouver, and involves invasive species clearing, planting native vegetation (in the sandy soil - easiest planting in the world), and a post work BBQ. Please RSVP by Friday, October 16th using the link sent by email.

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
Fun with Fungus!
10 am - noon
Burnaby Lake Regional Park.
 Meet at the Nature House by Piper Ave entrance
Nature Mentors: Al & Jude Grass
I know you're ready for this event with your "fun guy" jokes! Al and Jude will teach us about fungi. Maybe we'll see my favourite, puff balls. Please RSVP by Friday, October 2nd 
using the link sent by email. ​ 

Sunday, September 20th, 2015 
8 - 9 PM, in wet conditions (to see amphibians!)
Imperial Drive in Pacific Spirit Park 
Amphibian Road Surveys (for members 8+ years old only)

Saturday September 12th, 2015
9-10:30 AM
Iona Banding Station
Fall Bird Migration with WildResearch!

The NatureKids with be joined by BC Nature`s WildResearch Club for the Fall Bird Migration!

Saturday June 20th,
10 am 
Lighthouse Park, North Vancouver 
Walk through Old growth forest at Lighthouse Park with Nature Mentor, Elaine Graham.

Sunday May 17th
10 AM - noon 
Acadia Beach Park near UBC
Rock Hound Hunt
This is a rock-hound hunt on a pebbly beach below the picnic tables at Acadia Beach Park. We will learn about the difference between the three main rock-types (Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic). Then we will go down onto the beach and look at the huge variety of cobbles that cover the beach, collect specimens of interest, decide which of the three types they are, how they were formed, where each specimen might have come from and how they got there.

Congratulations goes out to Owen!
Owen received honorably mention in the YNC Hug-a-tree contest for his wonderful art submission in the 8 and under category. Way to go Owen!

Owen, 8 years old, YNC Vancovuer