A group of three adolescent bighorn sheep stand together in the grasslands.


The Williams Lake Field Naturalists was formed to allow people of all ages to come together to share knowledge and contact with nature for personal enrichment and for strengthening our voices for conservation. We organize field trips and walks, presentations by members and guests, natural history classes, as well as nature displays and guides. Our co-management of Scout Island Nature Centre focuses on enhancing public enjoyment of its natural spaces, providing nature education for children, and conserving its ecosystems.


Membership in the Williams Lake Field Naturalists is open to
any single adult, family (two adults and children), or student under 19 years of age. Memberships for persons under 19 must be supported by a parent or guardian. Click on the “become a member” tab to download a membership application. Please mail the application and enclose a cheque or money order .

Membership fees for calendar year 2023 are Single Adult: $30; Family: $35; Student under 19: $10

If you are including a family member under 19 or an additional adult family member, please include a waiver form

How the Field Naturalists started

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists club was formed in 1971 and registered under the BC Society Act in 1977. It is one of more than 50 member clubs of BC Nature and has an annual membership of about 150 persons. Field trips, nature-oriented projects, and presentations have been organized each year and the society has served as host for summer camps and general meetings of BC Nature. In 1977, the society took on responsibility for management of Scout Island Nature Centre, which is now a major public attraction in the City of Williams Lake. Nature Centre lands are owned primarily by the Nature Trust of BC. The Nature Centre has been recognized by the BC Ministry of Environment for its nature education programs for school children and as a principal wildlife viewing area. The club has also provided input to several land-use decisions in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of British Columbia.

View a short video by the Nature Trust of BC entitled “Our Beginnings” on its history, including purchase of Scout Island.

View our latest activity on the Scout Island Facebook page.

The Muskrat Express

The Muskrat Express is our member newsletter. It generally goes out every second month except in mid summer.

April/May 2023

Muskrat Archives

Anna Roberts, the first president of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists stands smiling in rolling grasslands with a bright red jacket.
Anna Roberts, the first president of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists (1982 photo)

A small sample of the many things we do

Three field naturalists use scopes, journals and binoculars to observe birds and other wildlife.
Observing birds and other wildlife.
Two field naturalists have their heads close to the dirt and juniper bushes to discover nature's small creatures.
Discovering nature’s small creatures.
A field naturalist monitors a mountain bluebird nest box in a grassy field.
Establishing and monitoring mountain bluebird nest boxes.
Two volunteers stand in the wetlands as they repair a boardwalk at Scout Island Nature Centre.
Building and maintaining trails on Scout Island Nature Centre.
A group of field naturalists stand near an edge overlooking a river river valley far below surrounding by a grassy canyon with sparse bushes and trees.
Hiking to interesting places.
Displays at Scout Island Nature Centre include natural history displays, wildlife displays and interpretive signs.
Making interpretive signs and natural history displays for Scout Island Nature Centre.

Founding and contributing members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists

Close up of Fred McMechan outdoors with a hat and glasses, backdropped by a dark green tree.

Fred McMechan

The longest serving president of the Field Naturalists and a principal leader in developing Scout Island Nature Centre. His dedication and vision for Scout Island will long continue to be a model for many.

Anna Roberts

Anna’s vision and leadership has been a major influence on the development of the Field Naturalists and Scout Island Nature Centre. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for all things natural, known throughout BC, has inspired naturalists of all ages.

Now is a great time to join the Williams Lake Field Naturalists! Check out our upcoming activities and get in touch. We would love to hear from you.