About Us

The Scout Island Nature Centre is a community centre for people and wildlife. It is a nature sanctuary where living things and their habitat are protected. Considered an important wildlife viewing area in the province of BC, it is a place where people can enjoy and learn about nature in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region. The land and waters of the Nature Centre, owned mostly by the The Nature Trust of British Columbia, are designated as a public nature education facility.

It is operated by the Williams Lake Field Naturalists in cooperation with the The Nature Trust of British Columbia  and the City of Williams Lake.  View a short video by the Nature Trust of BC on its early history, entitled “Our Beginnings ”  https://naturetrust.bc.ca/videos

The Nature Centre is supported by members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists, Friends of Scout Island (individual and local business and organization donors), partners, granting agencies and many volunteers. It is a charitable organization.


Nature Centre Goals

The SINC Management Plan 2022 FINAL   provides details about the leases, history and goals of the Nature Centre. In summary, the goals are to:

  • offer nature education and interpretation to all ages
  • conserve the Nature Centre’s wildlife habitat, vegetation and other natural values
  • provide a natural place for viewing wildlife and plants, facilitated by a system of walking trails
  • be a community gathering place for natural history programs, conservation discussions, natural history research, and ideas and actions for ecological sustainability

olderkidsbugs-350Our nature education programs are designed to encourage the bond between people and nature. The Nature Centre is a member of the Child and Nature Alliance, an initiative focused on fostering a closer connection between children and the natural world. We recognize that “daily life” does not encourage or even allow children to explore the natural world. We want to develop more opportunities for children and families to reconnect with nature. Our programs offer hands-on experiences with nature that help to develop empathy with and appreciation for the natural world; that can lead people into a life-long stewardship of the Earth.

A summary of yearly accomplishments and programs can be found in

Scout Island nature Centre Annual Report 2022 2022 report

The People


Lively discussion at the Nature House

Williams Lake Field Naturalists

The Directors and members of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists have met the challenge of managing Scout Island Nature Centre since 1978. Through their volunteer efforts, programs and materials are developed, staff hired and trained, funds raised, trails repaired, weeds pulled, boardwalks built, bird nest boxes put up, grassland garden maintained, and much more.

Directors 2019

Ordell Steen-co president

Don Lawrence-co president

Margret Waring-co president

Fred McMechan — Past President
Katharine VanSpall — Treasurer
 Nola Daintith– Secretary
Ray Hornby –Director
Peter Opie–Director
Cathie Hamm– Director
Lara Roorda–Director

Jean Oke–Director

Sean Donahue-director

Scout Island Nature Centre Staff

Scout Island Nature Centre Staff

Executive Director — Sue Hemphill
Education Coordinator –Martin Kruus
Nature Educators:
Sue Hemphill
Mary Forbes
Kim Zalay
Jacinta D’andrea (air quality)

Erin Hitchcock

Youth Staff: Every year 2-3 university students and 1-2 high school students are hired and trained to be Teacher Naturalists. They lead the spring and summer programs.

If you are interested in being part of the Nature Centre staff, please send a cover letter and resumé to e-mail

Support the Nature Centre

The elected executive of the WLFN is the volunteer administrative body for the operation of Scout Island Nature Centre.
Funding is used to:

  • employ staff, including the coordinator, educators, teacher naturalists, preschool teachers, bookkeeper and janitor
  • carry out repairs or improvements to the Nature House and Nature Centre area and
  • purchase educational services and supplies.

Funds have come from public fund-raising appeals, annual Nature Centre banquets, fee-for-service from the City of Williams Lake, grants from provincial and federal agencies, grants from foundations, donations from local businesses, and a donation box at the Nature House.

To see our complete list of supporters visit the Support Us Page.

group-at-wheelbarrow-350You Can Help!

Donate Funds or Materials (charitable receipts will be issued for each donation). Donation form.

Donate Time – Volunteering is Rewarding. There is a range of volunteer opportunities including:

nature interpretation,
restoration with native plants,
trail construction,
removal of invasive plants,
research, development of booklets and displays (art work always needed),
helping with (or leading) children and family programs and being an interpreter at the nature house.

For most volunteer positions, an interest in natural history and a love of the outdoors is all that is required, but we are also happy to train you if you want to be more of an expert.

Scout Island Nature Centre / Williams Lake Field Naturalists is a registered charitable organization that needs your involvement to continue to offer a nature sanctuary for all to enjoy and learn from.

Contact Us

1305 A Borland Road
Williams Lake BC
V2G 5K5
250 398 8532

For more information about this season’s programs or to book a program call or e-mail