Friends of Helen Schuler Nature Centre Society
Nature Alberta is proud to support a diverse range of naturalist organizations representing people passionate about all things nature – from mushrooms to birds and butterflies, reptiles and more. We are excited to welcome a new member club, Friends of the Helen Schuler Nature Centre Society, to our community connected by a love of nature. Read on to learn what the society does and how you can get involved.
Registered as a charitable society in 2017, Friends of the Helen Schuler Nature Centre was established with the main goal of fundraising to support Lethbridge’s truly spectacular Nature Centre, which receives ~53,000 visitors annually. These fundraising efforts help support the centre and also develop an immense amount of youth activities and engagement events that are held year-round within the facility. The Friends have been hard at work and in June 2019 they successfully reached their fundraising goal to create a new and improved outdoor learning classroom and amphitheatre.
Being able to support a nature interpretive centre that caters to all ages through exhibits, nature quests, discover walks, hands-on activities and more has helped the Friends elevate the Helen Schuler Nature Center as an important part of the community. Another interesting and important element of the Friends of Society work in 2019 was advocating the Provincial government to recognize the role of municipally funded nature centres in Alberta. Their advocacy resulted in $1,000,000 total invested from the Climate Leadership plan towards 13 nature centres in Alberta. This provided a substantial and much-needed boost to the efforts of nature centres across Alberta.
“My favorite element of this special place is the people,” offers Annette Orich, a volunteer with the Friends for more than nine years. “We see visitors from all over Alberta and it’s a pleasure working alongside the staff at the centre.”
Guests from the local community, as well as people from all over the world, visit the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and have the opportunity to gain meaningful knowledge about the natural world and they all leave with cherished memories.
Currently, the Friends have 50 active members and they have reached over 4,200 individuals through their events and programming. Nature Alberta is proud to call them a member club and looks forward to hearing about the continued success of their important fundraising efforts.
To learn more about the Friends of the Helen Schuler Nature Centre Society, support their work, volunteer, become a member or browse their upcoming events please visit their website naturecentre.ca.
This article originally ran in Nature Alberta Magazine - Winter 2020.