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Who We Are

A group of people from various walks of life and ages, who share a common interest in nature study, and the appreciation, and preservation of natural processes.

A Short History of the Club

The West Elgin Nature Club traces it begining to the year 1946. Through the interest and encouragement of the late Dr. W.E. Saunders, a group of the local people assembled in the West Lorne Public School for the inagural meeting and ME.V.E Lemon was chosen the first president of the club. The club is a member of the Federation of Ontario naturalists and the Canadian Nature Federation, over the years many prominent speakers have contributed their time and knowledge to the meetings. Some of the Club's highlights include:

1.     The first confirmed sighting of the Northern Cardinal, locally, was on May 27, 1928 by Earl Lemon.
2.     Mr. Dugald Murray reported the first red-bellied woodpecker in 1951 in his woodlot along the Thames River. Since that time, they have become a common, but not abundant, resident species throughtout the area.
3.     The first Canadian sighting of a Phainopepla (a bird of the Southwest United States) was made by Mr. R. Pokraka on the Christmas bird count, Dec 27, 1975.
4.     An American Avocet, a first record for Elgin County, visited the Rodney sewage Lagoon in August 1978.
5.     West Elgin has the only record of a small brown orchid (Liparis Lilifora), the nodding onion (Allium cernuus) and Queen-of-the-prairie (Filpendula rubra)
6.     West Elgin has a few specimens of native black gum and American chestnut trees. Other Carolinian species native to the area are being revived.

Our Activities

1.     Indoor meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 8pm September to April with the exception of December, at the West Elgin Senior Elemntary School, West Lorne. Speakers both local and guest, provide a variety of programs. A social hour follows each meeting.
2.     Field trips are scheduled for the months of April, May and June. The annual canoe trip on the Thames River is held on the second week of August with a picnic at the Big Bend C.A., Wardsville.
3.     West Elgin bird census is taken on Decmber 27 every year with a pot luck supper and a speaker to complete the day.
4.     In 1983 the Club was granted a lease on 32 acres of property in West Elgin this is the West Elgin Nature Club Reserve (Aldborough Memorial Forest Preserve).
5.     A wood duck nest box program continues in our sewage lagoons.
6.     The Club has manufactured over 300 bluebird houses. The majority of these nest boxes have been sold to local citizens and a large number have been placed throughout various locations in the township.
7.     In 1999, the Club leased 2 miles of railroad right-of-way and formally created the Dutton-Dunwich Praairie. The property is 24 acres in size and is one of few remaining prairie remnants in southern Ontario.

If you think that you would like to join this Nature Club, come out to our next meeting and see what goes on. Annual membership fees are $6.00 individual and $10.00 family. To get more information, contact our current president, Ken or Joan Neil of West Lorne.