Activities & Events

A trio of field naturalists hike down a grassy slope towards the Chilcotin river with meanders down the valley, a bright turquoise colour.

Upcoming Events and Programs

Field Trips

If you are a member and have a trip you would like lead or just suggest, please send your idea (location, purpose, preferred date or time of year) to the Muskrat Express newsletter email or contact us through the Williams Lake Field Naturalists email (see Contacts).

Our first trip was to Alkali Lake on Sunday April 30 to view the migrating waterfowl that gather each year on the lake.

The current list of field trips for 2023 is included in the Muskrat Express Newsletter for April/May. Additional trips may be added soon.

The final 2023 field trip list will be provided soon.

Presentations and Other Events

Saturday May 13, 2023. Spring yard and garden sale at Scout Island Nature Centre. For details see the April/May Muskrat Express.

March 31, 2023: Williams Lake Field Naturalists Annual General Meeting was held at Scout Island Nature Centre, starting with a potluck supper at 6:00 and the meeting at 7:00, followed by photos and videos of wildlife at Scout Island Nature Centre. Please contact us if you missed the meeting and have a question or would like to become a director.

April 21, 2023: Scout Island Nature Centre spring banquet with guest speaker Frank Ritcey (the “Outdoor Guy” on CBC North by Northwest. This was a very successful banquet attended by nearly 90 people, who enjoyed a great meal catered by St Andrew’s United Church (with amazing deserts by Joanne Wright) and a great presentation by Frank Ritcey with his videos and photos and many wildlife stories. Thank you from all of us to Frank Ritcey and the caterers.


For more distant events check “Other upcoming events” link.

About our field trips

We organize field trips from mid spring to mid fall, ranging from short evening trips to full day hikes and overnight camps, all with a natural history focus. For insurance reasons, trips are open only to members but a one-day trial membership is available.

For all trips, participants are responsible for transportation, appropriate gear, food and adequate water, and for informing the trip leader of any special needs. The current list of proposed trips for this year may be viewed by clicking on “Current field trip list”. Please see individual trip descriptions to assess difficulty and for trip leader contact information.

Two field naturalists hike through a field of purple, yellow and white alpine wildflowers in a grassy meadow with spotted with large spruce and Douglas Fir trees. A large rocky mountain smoothed down by many years of weathering is ahead of them with patches of snow.

Hiking through a field of alpine wildflowers with a backdrop of rocky mountains.

How conservation fits in

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists work to conserve the natural ecosystems of Scout Island Nature Centre and the Williams Lake area. Over the years, we have also participated in or provided submissions to several land use and environmental assessment advisory processes and conservation issues in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. We have always strived to base our input on sound ecological information, our intimate knowledge of Cariboo-Chilcotin ecosystems, and a belief in society’s responsibility to conserve natural ecosystems.

Some past activities and events

Volunteers work together to plant native trees and shrubs on Scout Island Nature Centre with wheel barrows, shovels and buckets.
Planting native trees and shrubs on Scout Island Nature Centre during a work bee.
Jean William and Cecilia DeRose teach field naturalists about plants in a shady spot on a trail.
Learning about plants from Secwepemc elders, Jean William and Cecilia DeRose.
Pairs of field naturalists are in canoes nearby the riparian edge to watch and listen for birds.
Watching and listening for birds at the edge of a lake.
Two field naturalists use field handbooks to identify plants on a walk while learning about grasslands.
Identifying plants on a walk to learn about grasslands.

View more on our blog

Volunteer Opportunities

We have many needs for volunteers, especially for projects at Scout Island Nature Centre. If you can volunteer your time to a current project, have a new project you would like to suggest to the club or would like to volunteer in some other way, please let us know by our email and we will provide more information.

Current projects and activities that require volunteers include:

  • Scout Island Nature Centre (SINC) trail maintenance and construction work parties,
  • developing and maintaining SINC displays and signs
  • SINC invasive plant removal (an on-going project),
  • planting of native trees, shrubs, and herbs on disturbed areas at the Nature Centre,
  • contacting and organizing speakers and other presentations,
  • organizing naturalist trips and events,
  • initiating and organizing club projects
  • fundraising and proposal writing (an on-going and important need)
  • preparing articles, large or small, for the Muskrat newsletter
  • gathering information and helping us address conservation issues in the Cariboo-Chilcotin
  • Being a member of the WL Field Naturalists board of directors

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists are very thankful for the many members and others who contribute many hundreds of hours each year to the success of Scout Island Nature Centre and other projects of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists. We could not continue without the efforts of many volunteers.

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.