Founding Partners

District of Saanich

The lands and facilities are owned by the Corporation of the District of Saanich, and the Nature Sanctuary Society has operated through a land management agreement with Saanich since June, 1975.

In a progressive move, during the 1960s the Municipality of Saanich began acquiring lands around Swan Lake and Christmas Hill, with the aim of retaining the area in its natural state for the use and enjoyment of the public. Records indicate that much of the property around the lake had been purchased by 1973, for approximately $230,000!

After consultation with local naturalists, school districts, the University of Victoria and the Regional and Provincial Governments, the Municipality decided to assist with the formation of a society under the Societies Act of B.C., to develop and operate the site. It was named the “Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Centre Society” and was duly incorporated in June of 1975. Many of the organizations consulted along the way became members of the Board, and sent representatives to serve on the Board, making the Sanctuary truly a community effort.

Victoria Natural History Society

The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) is a founding partner of the Sancutary and remains a strong partner and donor today. VNHS was formed in 1944 and currently has about 750 members. They are a volunteer-run organization. Members have developed their interest in nature in a wide variety of ways—some are professional biologists, others are students, most are amateur or volunteer naturalists. VNHS provides an opportunity for those interested in the natural world to come together to share their ideas and experiences.

VNHS proudly sponsors monthly special event at the Sanctuary and was a major donor toward Phase I of the Floating Boardwalk project in 2015 and in 2018 donated the Micro-eye Discovery located in the Nature House. The microscope is ideal for unsupervised areas as well as educational groups. With no eyepieces to adjust... crisp, clear 1080p images are displayed on a High Definition TV in the library. The microscope has only two controls - ZOOM and FOCUS - brightly coloured, smooth manual sliders - easy for users of all ages.

 

 

Capital Regional District (CRD)

The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) is a founding partner of the Sanctuary and remains a strong partner to this day offering up to eight Native Plant Workshops to the Great Victoria Community. The workshops take place at the Nature House in the Spring and Fall.

It takes a village…

After consultation with local naturalists, school districts, the University of Victoria and the Regional and Provincial Governments, the Municipality decided to assist with the formation of a society under the Societies Act of B.C., to develop and operate the site. It was named the “Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Centre Society” and was duly incorporated in June of 1975. Many of the organizations consulted along the way became members of the Board, and sent representatives to serve on the Board, making the Sanctuary truly a community effort.

Partnerships Matter

Swan Lake is proud of the strong partnerships with the following organizations:

Nature Trust of British Columbia

The Nature Trust owns two parcels of land within the Sanctuary. Both are leased to the District of Saanich which are in turn entrusted to the Society to manage as part of the Operating agreement mentioned above. To learn more about the Nature Trust and various properties they own or to zoom in to view the two parcels at Swan Lake, visit The Nature Trust’s property map.

 

2012 Dedication of the Nature Kiosk located outside the Nature House at the Sanctuary with two past Board members from Nature Trust’s Victoria office : Rob Silver and Jim Walker.

Community tree planting that took place in 2007 the Sanctuary to recognize Dr. Ian McTaggart-Cowan’s 99 birthday (gentleman in red coat and tweed hat) he was a Board member and also considered one of the fathers of conservation in Canada.

Nature Canada

The Nature Sanctuary is proud to be a part of the Greater Victoria NatureHood. NatureHood is a program of Nature Canada that connects people of all ages to nature right where they live — referred to as nearby nature! At the Nature Sanctuary and as with other NatureHood partners, you can connect with nature through events, wildlife observation, and educational and stewardship activities.

 

Read more on the NatureHood blog. And follow: #gvnaturehood