Nicola Naturalist Society – Spring Events 2024

Evening meetings of the Nicola Naturalist Society are held once a month from September through May. We generally meet at 7PM on the third Thursday of the month in the Lecture Theatre of NVIT (Nicola Valley Institute of Technology) on Belshaw Road, Merritt. Admission is free to members. We have awesome raffles.

Field Outings are usually held in spring, summer and fall and are listed below. Members will receive e-mail notices too. Field trips are restricted to paid-up members (but visitors can sign up as a member for the day for a nominal fee).

We are on Facebook. Check out our Facebook page: NNS Facebook


Sandhill Crane Project

Our club is undertaking an ambitious project to monitor the migration of Sandhill Cranes at the Douglas Lake Plateau every day through the migration season. We have a paid contractor covering the weekday mornings and evenings but club members will be doing the surveys on weekends. Mileage costs are covered for members who register for these surveys. For more information (members only) email

There will also be our usual Sandhill Crane group outings (for club members only):

Sunday April 21st – meet at 07:00 at the Merritt Civic Centre parking lot

Saturday April 27th – meet at 07:00 at the Merritt Civic Centre parking lot

Sandhill Cranes taking off to resume their northward spring migration – April 2023. Photo: © Leanne Cleaveley


Thursday April 18th 2024, NVIT Lecture Theatre at 7 PM: Leanne Cleaveley – Nature in your Backyard; How to Capture it using Macro-photography

Leanne Cleaveley is an elementary school teacher-librarian and photographer here in Merritt. She has combined her skills to write educational photography guides for a variety of topics, often focusing on macro-photography of flowers, insects and other elements of the natural world. Her razor-sharp photos of tiny insects and spiders have entranced our naturalist club in recent years and Leanne has agreed to share her experience and show us more of her amazing photos.

An example of Leanne’s macro-photography – a pollinating wasp. Photo: ©Leanne Cleaveley


Thursday May 16th 2024: Tom Willms – The Nicola Valley Beaver Project.

NVIT instructor Tom Willms is leading a project to re-introduce beavers to many local areas where they have been extirpated. Beavers are now recognized as a key to water conservation and flood control and are being re-introduced in many areas.

A beaver is released at Howarth Creek near Merritt in May 2023 and inspects its new home. Photos: ©Liz McDonald
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