Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES) – a registered charity since 1988 – began as the Stanley Park Zoological Society. Following the closure of the Park’s zoo in 1995, the society revised its name but continued with its aims of education, conservation and outreach programs.

In June 1997, SPES and the Vancouver Park Board entered into a Joint Operating Agreement that documents the nature of our reciprocal relationship. As the primary provider of land-based education interpretive services in Stanley Park, SPES’s role in the stewardship of Stanley Park is undertaken through a combination of:

  • Education
  • Conservation action
  • Research

SPES also advises the Park Board on conservation issues within the Park with an emphasis on wildlife, habitat and Species at Risk. The Park Board provides facilities including the Stanley Park Nature House on Lost Lagoon, the 2nd floor Dining Pavilion offices, and the Earthen Architecture Cob Popcorn Stand in the Miniature Train Plaza.

Grants, private donations and memberships, program revenues and service fees fund SPES. In addition, we rely on our dedicated volunteers, committed staff and board members and the generous support of local businesses and foundations.


Our Mission is education, conservation, and research rooted in Stanley Park.


Our Vision is of generations inspired by nature within and beyond Stanley Park.

Core Values

Collaboration: we recognize the importance of working with others to achieve our goals and we value the benefits derived from their involvement.

Inclusion: we are strengthened by embracing persons with diverse backgrounds, ideas, skills, and experiences in our work, and gain strength and wisdom through inclusion.

Sustainability: we strive to ensure we are managing our resources effectively and that we are promoting environmental sustainability within and beyond Stanley Park.

Statement of Reconciliation – Our Commitment

We, at the Stanley Park Ecology Society (SPES), gratefully acknowledge that the land and waters on which we gather and help steward are the traditional and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

We recognize that Indigenous peoples, including the Coast Salish peoples, have suffered under colonial and postcolonial activities. Since time immemorial, Coast Salish peoples have lived in harmony with the land, harvesting and cultivating foods and medicines and practicing ceremony. The abundance of these lands and waters, that enables us to live, work, and play here today, is a result of the past and on-going stewardship and advocacy of the Coast Salish peoples.

We are committed to supporting Indigenous children, youth, and families in the communities we serve and to creating equitable services and an inclusive environment for all. SPES is committed to truth and reconciliation and is guided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action, specifically:

  • 66: “We call upon the federal government to establish multiyear funding for community-based youth organizations to deliver programs on reconciliation, and establish a national network to share information and best practices.”;
  • 84ii: “… Increase equitable access for Aboriginal peoples to jobs, leadership positions, and professional development opportunities within the organization.”; and,
  • 92iii: “…Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”

We are committed to applying these calls to action in our operations to the fullest extent possible on our reconciliation and decolonization journey.

Strategic Goals

Programming Excellence through:

  • Public education and outreach.
  • Conservation stewardship.
  • Research, monitoring, and evaluation.

Community Commitment through:

  • Moving further on the path toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
  • Addressing the issues raised by climate change.
  • Enhancing our relationships with organizations that share one or more of our objectives.
  • Reaching out to underrepresented members of our communities.

Financial Sustainability through:

  • Effectively and efficiently managing our resources.
  • Generating additional unrestricted net revenues.
  • Supporting the staff, equipment, and services needed to meet our objectives.

Read the Stanley Park Ecology Society bylaws here (PDF).