About the OFNC

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About the OFNC 2017-11-21T04:28:58+00:00

Founded in 1863 (and incorporated in 1879), the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club is the oldest natural history club in Canada. Over 800 members have interests in all aspects of the natural world, from birding to botanizing, investigation to publication, conservation to cooperation. We hope you’ll find something here to suit your interests.

We meet on the second Tuesday of every month (except July and August) at 7 pm in the K.W. Neatby Building, Salon B, 960 Carling Avenue. Almost every weekend all year round, we go for nature walks to the many conservation areas in our region. Learn to identify the birds that frequent our lakes, fields, and forests; wade through a marsh searching for amphibians; or take a leisurely stroll with fellow nature lovers.


  • To promote the appreciation, preservation, and conservation of Canada’s natural heritage
  • To encourage investigation, publish the results of research in all fields of natural history, and diffuse the information as widely as possible
  • To support and cooperate with organizations engaged in preserving, maintaining or restoring environments of high quality for living things.


The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club is a volunteer, non-profit organization. The club’s operations are overseen by a board made up of elected members and the chairs of the various committees. Individual activities are undertaken by club members participating in standing committees.

2017 Board of Directors


  • President — Diane Lepage
  • Vice-president — Jakob Mueller
  • Treasurer — Ann MacKenzie
  • Recording secretary — Lynn Ovenden
  • Past-president — Fenja Brodo

Committee representatives

  • Awards — Eleanor Zurbrigg
  • Birds — Chris Traynor (chair); liaison Mark Patry
  • Conservation — Owen Clarkin (conservation@ofnc.ca)
  • Education and Publicity — Gordon Robertson (education@ofnc.ca)
  • Events — Jakob Mueller
  • Finance — Rémy Poulin
  • Fletcher Wildlife Garden — Ted Farnworth (fletcher@ofnc.ca)
  • Macoun Club — Rob Lee (chair); Diane Kitching (Macoun@ofnc.ca)
  • Membership — Henry Steger (membership@ofnc.ca)
  • Publications — Jeff Saarela
  • Safe Wings  —  Anouk Hoedeman

Ex-officio members

Members at large

OFNC Board Minutes

June 2017     September 2017


Each year, the Awards Committee manages a process for nominating, selecting and awarding a handful of persons for the OFNC’s awards (terms of reference).

The Birds Committee coordinates and encourages birding related activities both within and outside the Club with Ottawa’s rich and varied birding community. On a continuing basis, volunteers conduct bird study sessions, manage five winter feeding stations (Bird-Feeders-Subcommittee terms of reference), organize bird counts, maintain records of unusual sightings (Bird Records Subcommittee terms of reference), produce the Ottawa bird checklist, and monitor the fledglings of a breeding pair of Peregrine Falcons. The committee has a relatively large membership and is constantly seeking new participants (terms of reference).

Conservation Committee is alert to human influences that are damaging to the natural environment and advises OFNC members and the executive about what actions we can take, both as individuals and collectively. In addition to local issues, OFNC supports conservation efforts on a broader scale through affiliation with organizations such as Ontario Nature and Nature Canada (terms of reference).

Education and Publicity Committee informs the community about natural history and OFNC’s resources, considers educational initiatives, provides trip leaders and speakers as requested by outside groups, and coordinates the sale of club materials (terms of reference).

Events Committee plans an extensive program of monthly meetings, workshops, day trips, and longer excursions for the education and interest of our members (terms of reference).

Finance Committee prepares the annual budget for OFNC, promotes fiscal responsibility, maintains the club’s financial reporting systems, and responds to financial issues raised by the board (terms of reference).

The Fletcher Wildlife Garden Management Committee develops and manages the Fletcher Wildlife Garden as a way to demonstrate to residents of the Ottawa area how to create or restore wildlife‐friendly habitat and gardens, emphasizing the use of plants native to this region (terms of reference).

Macoun Field Club Committee manages this nature club for kids ages 8–18. The Macoun Field Club opens the eyes of young people to nature’s intricate world — from the tallest tree right down to the tiniest pond mite. The committee develops the program of activities for the club and maintains safety and conduct guidelines for its meetings and field trips.

The Membership Committee maintains an up-to-date record of members of the club (terms of reference).

Publications Committee manages the OFNC’s two primary publications (terms of reference):

  • The Canadian Field-Naturalist, a quarterly journal devoted to reporting scientific research in all fields of natural history relevant to Canada
  • Trail & Landscape, a quarterly newsletter for club members, containing articles on the natural history of the Ottawa Valley and giving details of club activities.

In addition, the OFNC sponsors a number of special publications on the natural history and environment of the national capital region. An editor is appointed for each OFNC publication (terms of reference).

The Research Grants Program Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Publications Committee and the Conservation Committee, responsible for reviewing research proposals, recommending grants, and reviewing project reports (terms of reference).

The Safe Wings Ottawa Committee organizes activities related to reducing bird mortality from window collisions (terms of reference).