Actions and Updates in your Inbox:

The Celebration of Nature

The 2024 Celebration of Nature is coming!

Presenting "Naturalists as Nature Advocates"

Save the Dates, May 24th-26th, 2024. This year The Celebration of Nature is Back, the Annual Symposium for Naturalists will be taking place entirely in person at the VCLA Community Hub, situated at 118 Oakdene Avenue in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

There are two ticket options available:

$100 Full Weekend Pass Ticket: Includes break time refreshments and lunches for both Saturday and Sunday as well as Speaker Presentations and Field trips.

$35 Banquet ticket: Includes Blomidon Naturalist Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Banquet on Saturday night, featuring a buffet-style meal and historical review by Larry Bogan.

About The 2024 Celebration of Nature

Nature NS and BNS have Been busy preparing a weekend long event which includes presentations, field trips, Locally catered lunches, member booths, Blomidons 50th anniversary celebration, Nature Nova Scotias AGM and Networking opportunities.

The theme of the 2024 Celebration of nature is “Naturalists as Nature Advocates” in light of this we have curated an exciting line up of presenters from local, reginal and national. Saturday and Sunday will feature Nina Newington discussing forest Conservation, Bob Bancroft and Jess Lewis on The Mainland Moose, and our keynote speaker: Emily Macmillan the director of Nature Canada will be sharing a national perspective on nature advocacy.

As per previous years the, weekend offers captivating field trips organized by local leaders, exploring places like the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, the vernal pools at Blomidon Provincial Park, the Healing Forest, Kentvillie Hemlock Ravine and The Lorax woodlands. Additionally We will feature Morning Birding events, and stargazing on both Saturday and Sunday.

Beyond presentations and field trips the Weekend celebrates Blomidon naturalist society’s 50th anniversary on Saturday and nature nova scotias annual general meeting on Sunday.

Join us in exploring the Annapolis Valley's Natural wonders while learning to better advocate for it's protection.

About the Venue: VCLA

The venue for the 2024 Celebration of Nature is The VCLA Community Hub, situated at 118 Oakdene Avenue in Kentville, Nova Scotia. The Valley Community Learning Association (VCLA) is a not-for-profit charitable group dedicated to enhancing literacy levels among adults in Kings and Annapolis Counties, Nova Scotia, Canada. The Venue has facilitated Collaborations with BNS, resulting in exciting initiatives such as the Pollinator Garden, weekly Community Suppers, and Flying Squirrel Adventures. 

parking is available in the former church lot. Accessibility is a priority, with wheelchair access provided via ground-level entry and push-button doors. 

For further details, please visit Their website at


Food Summary

Meals are catered featuring locally sourced sustainable food, in line with the vision of Nature Nova Scotia and Blomidon Naturalist Societiy.

Refreshments and lunches are included in the $100.00 registration fee, excluding the optional banquet. The food provided is gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly with a meat based option.

Mornings offers buffet-style Coffee & Tea, Muffins, and Gluten-Free (GF) Cookies.

Saturday’s lunch includes Carrot Ginger Soup, Thai Chickpea Veggie Wraps (GF), Sesame Chicken & Rice Wraps, a Vegetable & Dip Tray, and Honey & Lemon Iced Tea.

Sunday’s lunch features Vegetable & Black Bean Soup, a Build-Your-Own Sandwich Bar with options like Chicken Salad, Egg Salad, Hummus, and Vegetables, alongside a Vegetable & Dip Tray, Ginger Lemonade, and assorted Mixed Desserts.

The Saturday banquet, tickets are sold seperatly. The Banquet offers a buffet-style supper with options like Butter Chicken and a Vegetarian Option: Balsamic Tofu, Mushroom & Vegetable Stir Fry. Accompaniments include Wild Rice Pilaf, Rosemary & Apple Roasted Root Vegetables, and Seasonal Salad. Desserts include Mini Carrot Cakes and Chocolate Beet Brownies. 


** Vegetarian option must be requested during Ticket Purchase.


The Celebration of Nature 2024 Full Schedule

Blomidon’s 50th Anniversary & Nature NS AGM.

Beginning with wine and cheese early bird registration hosted by Benjamin Bridges, there will be a cash bar available. Saturday night will feature Blomidon’s 50th-anniversary banquet celebration, offering a recap on the organization’s progress. On Sunday, Nature NS AGM will take place, welcoming both new and current members to join in the proceedings.

The Nature Nova Scotia AGM will take place on Sunday May 26th

“I’m excited to say that, with vaccinations and COVID remaining in the background, we plan to be seeing each other in person at the Nature Nova Scotia AGM on May 24, 25 & 26 th. The setting will be Kentville and the Annapolis Valley area, hosted by the Blomidon Naturalists Society. We are happy to combine interests and forces with tour member groups for the weekend to provide family-friendly field trips. The theme will be “Naturalists as Nature Advocates”. This is a social, learning and outdoor experience event for naturalists. We hope to see you!”

Bob Bancroft President, Nature Nova Scotia

Speaker Presentations

Activists and Naturalists Meet in the Woods: Habitat Preservation and Nova Scotia’s Collaborative Protected Areas Strategy with Nina Newington

This talk will delve into how citizen scientists, like those in Southwest Nova Scotia, contribute to identifying valuable conservation areas, such as species at risk habitats and old-growth forests. Nina Newington, based in Kespukwitk, District 1 of Mi’kma’ki, is an advocate for protecting forests and will soon release her third book, ‘Moose Country Doggerel: The Tale of a Blockade’, drawing on her experiences, including a 6-month forest protest in 2021-2022, and her current focus on the Save Our Old Forests campaign.

Mainland moose conservation with Bob Bancroft and Jess Lewis

Bob, a wildlife biologist and president of Nature NS, explores mainland moose history, biology, and conservation challenges, while Jess highlights Nature NS’s research and outreach efforts, including trail camera initiatives. Join their mission to safeguard these species at risk and their habitat for future generations, with simple actions and support.

Keynote Presentation:  “National Perspective on Nature Advocacy”– Emily McMillan, President of Nature Canada

Emily McMillan, Executive Director of Nature Canada, shares insights on leveraging a passion for the environment to make a tangible impact. With over 20 years of experience in environmental conservation, Emily highlights strategies and success stories, drawing from her background in campaigning and her journey fostering nature appreciation in her children.

Saturday Field trips

 Tour of the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens

Explore the diverse habitats of the Acadia forest across 6 acres at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, Acadia University, including a bog, marsh, and sand barren. Led by a tour guide, discover native flora and visit the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre, home to a world-class herbarium and seed bank, before enjoying other areas like the formal gardens showcasing native plant landscaping.

Jim Wolford Memorial Hike: Vernal Pond in Blomidon Provincial Park with Soren Bondrup-Nielsen

Soren, originally from Denmark, found his passion for ecology and conservation biology while growing up in Canada. After teaching at Acadia University for 27 years, he now serves as President of the Blomidon Naturalists Society. Join us for the Jim Wolford Memorial Hike, honouring Jim’s love for nature by exploring the old growth hardwood forest along the Joudrey Trail to witness the fairy shrimp in the vernal pond he cherished.

Old Growth Forest of the Coldbrook woods with Larry Bogan Explore a mixed woodland with diverse trails frequented by walkers, birders, hikers, mountain bikers, and OHV users, featuring impressive growths of hemlock, white and red pine, and champion-size Eastern red oaks. Led by Larry Bogan, a dedicated member of Nature Nova Scotia and the Blomidon Naturalists Society, the walk will highlight the area’s biodiversity, including its border along the Cornwallis River, attracting eagles, geese, ducks, and other birds.

Sunday Field Trips

Ramble through a Wabanaki (Acadian) National Healing Forest

Join guide Celes Davar on a ramble through the Wabanaki forest, designated as a National Healing Forest by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2023, to encounter its living residents and explore its regenerative qualities. Celes, a seasoned naturalist and steward of this land near Wolfville, will share insights into its ecology and his work in regenerative tourism, offering a glimpse into his life as a Maritimer and community facilitator across Canada.

Kentville Hemlock Ravine  with Tom Herman

Embark on a journey through ecological and geological time in the Kentville Ravine, one of the last Old Growth Hemlock forests in the Annapolis Valley. Led by Tom Herman, a population biologist and Professor Emeritus at Acadia University, we’ll delve into the challenges facing this unique site and discuss strategies for its protection for future generations.

Lorax Woodlands (beavers and owls) with Carolyn Green and Bernard Forsythe

Join us for a hike through Lorax Woodlands, a co-housing community committed to restoring and preserving the Acadia forest they collectively own. Led by Carolyn Green, a Lorax Woodlands member and BNS Board Member, along with Bernard Forsythe, “The Owl Man of Kings County,” we’ll explore Bentley Brook and its beaver-dammed lake, discussing the vital role of beavers and native plants as keystone species while learning about owl box placement dating back to 1983.

Come and learn your way around the spring sky. Sky charts will be provided showing the locations of the major constellations. While all of the planets are currently in the morning sky, there will be an almost full moon to view through telescopes. For many decades, Patrick Kelly has taught first-year astronomy at St. Mary’s University and Dalhousie University as well as presenting shows in the Halifax Planetarium. Over that time, he has been an active member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, both nationally and with its Halifax Centre. In 2016, he was made a Fellow of the RASC.

Early Morning Bird Watching with trip leaders Richard Stern on Saturday and Guy Stevens on Sunday. Casual walk (likely 5 km) exploring the woods and river along the Wolfville Watershed Preserve, and Cornwallis River. A great way to start the day with birdsong. Open to all levels of birders. Bring your binoculars if you have them.

Did you miss the 2022 or 2023 Celebration of Nature? Here are some of the awesome presentations we enjoyed together when we had to gather virtually:

Sharing is Caring