Type of entity
Authorized form of name
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Dates of existence
The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Society was first established on January 26, 1933 as a chapter of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. The club originally consisted of 32 members, with Colonel Lionel S. Dear as president. After holding several meetings in 1933 the club dissolved, primarily due to the effects of the Great Depression. The Field Naturalists restarted in 1937 with Claude E. Garton as president. By 1939 there were upwards of 50 active members. The Second World War brought most club activities to a halt, as many members were busy with the war effort. The club was once again revived in 1946 by Dr. Howard Quackenbush and Dr. Albert E. Allen, who was president from 1943-46 and from 1951-53. Since then, the club has gained steadily in membership and continues to be active in the Thunder Bay community.
The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists originally formed to promote the sharing of knowledge about natural history topics among its members. At first, the club concentrated on the specific interests of individual members on certain plants, birds, fish, rocks, etc, but as time progressed they began to focus more upon larger environmental issues. The current goals of the Field Naturalists are to: acquire, record, and disseminate knowledge of natural history; to promote the wise use of natural resources; to stimulate public interest in nature and its protection; and to promote the preservation of natural areas. Throughout their history the Field Naturalists have engaged in many activities to meet these goals. They have regularly held field trips to various parks in the region. Members have lectured on natural history topics. They have brought in guest speakers at their meetings from the Lakehead University Biology department, the Thunder Bay region, and other individuals from outside the region. The club has also actively supported conservation activities to protect wildlife, including supporting a ban on the harmful chemical DDT. They have participated in discussions on the management of provincial parks, Ontario Hydro projects, and other environmental concerns.