The Edmonton Nature Centres Foundation (ENCF) is a registered charity that was incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act in 1979. We support the development of facilities, programs, displays, and lands which encourage Edmontonians, especially children, to “discover nature naturally” in a fun and safe manner by raising funds through donations from corporations, private individuals, grants and gaming proceeds.
The John Janzen Nature Centre (JJNC), together with its surrounding lands, has been and continues to be one of the primary vehicles for achieving delivery of our goals since 1979. The JJNC is a City of Edmonton owned facility. Over the years the ENCF has provided capital, operational dollars, ideas, and expertise for creation of indoor and outdoor displays, exhibits, trail signage and has assisted in the development and delivery of educational, nature-based programs.
Consistent with our mandate, we have also formed connections and “partnerships” with other groups interested in nature education and activities in Edmonton’s river valley and in other Edmonton locations and sponsored education and outreach sessions in schools and on site, with other users.
What We Have Funded
The ENCF has raised funds in support of various capital and operational projects that enabled us to reach and maintain our goals.
Outdoors – the pond, trail system signage, tree planting, the green roof portion of the JJNC and the reorganization of the entry way and the grounds immediately adjacent to the JJNC
Indoors – new or updated displays in the exhibit room, the beehive maintenance, the Tegler Discovery Zone.
All seasons – interpretive nature sessions for children and adults alike, at the pond, on the trails, in the backyard composting area and meeting rooms led by knowledgeable, trained nature interpreters or other presenters demonstrating or discussing such things as star gazing, astronomy, snowshoeing, climate change and backyard composting.
In recent years although our goals have remained essentially the same, the ENCF has taken steps to broaden its scope to include different programs, locations, partnerships, and groups.
- Supporting the attendance of school groups for in-school/or JJNC classroom and outside nature education at various locations on topics of interest;
- Helping to develop and fund a group of three walking trail books for the Edmonton and area with a walking group, the “Wildrose Ramblers”
- Participating in and sponsoring Epcor RiverFest in 2017, 2018 and 2019. We highlighted information and hands-on activities related to critters of the valley and made important contacts with other nature-based organizations;
- Working on several awareness and other tools around understanding and responding to climate change, part of which was included at Epcor RiverFest;
- Organizing educational and fun “nature talks” for adults including Sustainable Landscaping topics “Be the Bison” and “Native Plants in Horticulture” and “Owls, Owlers and Owling in Alberta”; and
- Participating in the development of projects/funding/partnership ideas with respect to possible “conservation” projects working with other groups with expertise in specific areas. At this point we have discussed the conservation of “Leopard Frog” which has been extirpated in BC and is increasingly rare in Alberta.