150th Anniversary

Nature London (McIlwraith Field Naturalists) Celebrates 150 Years in 2014

In 2014, Nature London is marking 150 years since the founding of the Victorian-era group to which it traces its roots – the London Branch of the Entomological Society of Canada. Many events are planned throughout the year. Join us in celebrating Nature London’s 150th birthday! New events will be added to this space as the year progress, so please check in regularly.

Cardinal 150 Logo Red200

Exhibit at Museum London
December 20, 2014 to March 29, 2015

Museum London is excited to present an exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of Nature London. Developed in collaboration with Nature London members, David and Winifred Wake, this exhibition will explore the “who, why, what, and when” of this amazing organization. You will meet its earliest members and discover that they learned about the insects, birds, and plants of the region because they loved nature. They also wanted to help farmers and others prosper through their economically useful scientific findings. As times changed, the organization that became Nature London added a commitment to preservation. Its members could not, and did not, sit idle while urbanization and industrialization threatened species and habitats with destruction. And during 150 years, as you will see, Nature London members have shared their joy in, and enthusiasm about, nature with others through field trips, lectures, and publications.

Treasured objects and images held by Nature London will be featured. As well, the exhibition will include material from the collections of Museum London, the University of Guelph and the Departments of Botany and Zoology at the University of Western Ontario. The exhibition will run from December 20, 2014 to March 29, 2014.

Members and friends of Nature London are warmly invited to join Museum London for a reception marking the opening of this exhibition and others on Friday, January 30, 2015, at 8:00 pm.

Recent events in honor of Nature London’s 150th Anniversary

150th Anniversary Celebration Kickoff on January 17 takes place at the Nature London meeting at the Civic Garden Complex. The program features a look into the past and a peek into the future of the club. To add to the fun, members are invited to come dressed as naturalists from days of yore. See details under Calendar of Events.

Anniversary Lecture on March 4 will be presented by John Riley of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This talk will trace the natural heritage of southwestern Ontario as it evolved from post-glacial lake bottom, to magnificent woodlands and prairies, to the landscape of today. Experience London’s landscape and wildlife 10,000, 5,000 and 500 years ago. For details, see flyer on home page.

Anniversary Tree Planting and Plaque Unveiling on April 29 will take place at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. The location has been chosen to honour William Saunders, Senior, the founder of the London Branch of the Entomological Society of Canada, who is buried at Mt Pleasant. Saunders was an early advocate of the use of native trees for landscaping purposes. He was responsible for much tree planting in the city, including the native Tulip and Cucumber Magnolia trees that currently tower above the cemetery grounds. Meet at 6:30 pm near the chapel at the south end of the cemetery grounds off Riverside Drive. A short walk will follow the tree planting and plaque unveiling.

Byron Bog
Byron Bog

Field Trips to Historic Destinations. During 2014, many field trips have been planned to locations visited by past generations of London naturalists. For details, check the Calendar of Events. Additional trips will be added as the year goes on.

If you are not a member of Nature London and would like to attend walks open to members only, now is the ideal time to join Nature London.

William Saunders Sr.
William Saunders Sr.

An Illustrated Talk on the Life and Achievements of William Saunders

Co-sponsored by Nature London and the London Public Library

Tuesday, October 28, 7 pm, Stevenson Hunt Room B,
London Public Library, 251 Dundas Street

In 1864 William Saunders became the founding father of Nature London’s ancestor, the London Branch of the Entomological Society of Canada. During his lifetime, Saunders was an internationally acclaimed pharmacist, entomologist, horticulturist and plant breeder. In 1886 he moved to Ottawa to establish the Dominion Experimental Farms system and become its first director. While still in London, Saunders was a successful businessman, a promoter of tree planting in public places, a prolific writer and editor of scientific articles, and an experimenter in the hybridization of fruit trees and shrubs – and these represent only a sampling of his interests. Winifred Wake, Nature London’s co-archivist, will deliver an illustrated talk on the life and achievements of William Saunders, focusing primarily on his years in London. The presentation is free and open to the public.