North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club celebrates 65 years of activity - InfoNews

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North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club celebrates 65 years of activity

NONC members then
Image Credit: NONC file photo
November 23, 2016 - 12:11 PM

The North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club, commonly known as NONC, is pleased to celebrate its 65th anniversary this year since being founded in Vernon on December 12, 1951. 

Dr. Douglas Ross of the Canada Forest Insect Laboratory located in Vernon at that time should be mentioned for his singular efforts in starting the Club.  Dr. Ross, James Grant, Dr. Phil Jones, James Brandon Beddome and Jack Fowle were founding members. By the end of 1952 there was a membership of 33 people.

NONC became affiliated with the Federation of BC Naturalists (now known as BC Nature) which has similar clubs in all regions of the Province.  BC Nature’s motto is ‘Know Nature and Keep it Worth Knowing’ and these very words continue to focus the efforts of NONC and its members here in greater Vernon and the North Okanagan.

Our Club with its 120+/- current members is a diverse group of birders, hikers, botanists, entomologists and citizen scientists who advocate for preservation of natural habitat and open spaces.  We also strive to share this knowledge with the younger generation through our Nature Kids program.

NONC members now
NONC members now
Image Credit: Claude Rioux

Our Club has several monitoring programs such as the Bluebird Trails where volunteers build and maintain bluebird nest boxes to encourage mountain and western bluebirds to increase their numbers in the range and grassland areas around Vernon.  We also have volunteers in the hummingbird banding program to record the number of various species of these birds that visit the region each year.  NONC also participates in several programs including the Christmas Bird Count, Swan & Eagle Count and Great Backyard Bird Count to help monitor the health of the overall bird population.

Grant funding and contributions from Club members have allowed research to be conducted over several years on important rattlesnake habitat in the North Okanagan. The research focused on population monitoring to determine total snake numbers in the dens in the study area.

Swan Lake Reserve is a joint project of NONC, Ducks Unlimited and the Regional District to protect a valuable waterfowl nesting area, and an area where raptors can be seen over open land very near our city.

We remain dedicated to our original Club goals and today are advocates for preservation of the natural environment in the face of encroaching urban development.  At its founding the Club decided to meet “the first Wednesday of every month during the winter season” – and we still do.  The club does not meet during the summer months.

Membership is open to any individual or family living in the North Okanagan area.

For more information, contact our Club president Harold Sellers at 250-503-2388 or go to our website.

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