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. 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. You will find the following displays in the exhibit: Forest and Mineral, Fossil and Bone, Insect, Raptor and Small Birds, Beaver, Shell Catalogue, Tidal Creatures, Herring Life Cycle, and Shell Midden.
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 by food or medicine by one or several of the Northwest Coast First Peoples. Plants at the garden include Kinnikinnick, Soapberry, Red Elderberry, Licorice Fern, Prickly Pear Cactus, Nootka Rose, Blue Camas, Chocolate Lily, and more.
Through programs and displays, the Centre provides an opportunity to learn about the creatures with whom we share our island.
During July and August, the Centre is open several days a week. 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. Past talks have focused on topics such as what whales eat, impact of ocean acidity in the Salish Sea, local geology and a celebration of natural coastal life.
From October – June, 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 and a year-round staff coordinator. The Centre operates with the generous support of Judy and Isaac Thau.