Become a SPES Member today and join our special Members-only tour at our Earth Day event on Saturday, April 23rd! SPES Members will accompany a Talaysay Tours First Nations guide and cultural ambassador to learn about local plants harvested by Skwxu7mesh Uxwumixw – Coast Salish people, and hear stories of the land, people and Indigenous ways of living. Find more SPES Earth Day information here.

SPES memberships help keep our vision alive: to inspire and empower communities to make choices that sustain healthy ecosystems in Stanley Park and in all natural spaces!

Meet some of our dedicated members this month and find out what their membership means to them, in their own words.

Rebecca – SPES Member since 2013

Why did you become a member of SPES?

I feel like the park gives me so much: I am there at least once a week to walk among its trees, stroll along its shores, and photograph its wildlife. By supporting SPES’s efforts with conservation, education, and environmental stewardship, I feel it’s a great way to give back to this spectacular space.

Why have you remained a member over the years?

It’s still very easy to renew my membership online, I still want to give back to the park, and SPES’s programs are always so engaging.  The perks are nice too! And, I always learn something from SPES! I was really impressed one year when I was at the Stanley Park Halloween Train and I participated in the Creatures of the Night walk. The team had wonderful interactions with young visitors and kept all of our attention with fun little activities. I already loved nature but they made learning about nature so fun, even for adults.

What do you love about Stanley Park?

Lost Lagoon is my favourite place for an evening stroll, there’s always so much to see and photograph. From ducks and otters in the water, to eagles in the trees, beautiful blossoms in the spring, cool shade in the summer, and colourful fall foliage. Otherwise, it’s within the 20km+ network of trails. Rawlings, Tatlow and Bridle will get you anywhere you want to go, connecting to smaller paths along the way. When you’re way up on Squirrel Trail with columns and columns of evergreens you completely forget you’re in the middle of a major metropolitan city. If there’s one trail I could do all day every day, it’s Lovers Walk. Partly for its beauty and partly because it’s super romantic to be in such a wonderful place walking hand-in-hand with my husband on a trail called Lovers haha. 

What would you say to someone who doesn’t know about SPES membership?

They probably haven’t heard of SPES and, more so, haven’t heard about membership, so I’m sure I’d blow their mind by simply listing all of the things SPES does, and how worthy of support it is. Membership is a simple, easy way to stay informed, support a great cause, and be a part of something that helps our natural surroundings.

Haina – SPES Member since 2021

Why did you become a member of SPES?

Stanley Park is the ideal combination of culture, history, wildlife, and urban lifestyle. I’ve always known that SPES is actively doing conservation work in the park. I wanted to be a part of SPES family to help the park thrive. I was already a volunteer with DIRT (Dedicated Invasives Removal Team) for about 2 years.

What is one of your favourite experiences as a SPES member?

I was hoping to initiate a club at UBC focusing on invasive plants removal, so I asked the Stewardship Coordinator in SPES to learn how DIRT is conducted. She took us on a walking tour and explained every detail about how to organize volunteers to do invasive species removal. During the process, I received so much support and learned a lot more about the background work needed for a successful volunteer group.

What is your favourite place in Stanley Park?

There are so many beautiful places! I believe my favorite one would be the north-facing Seawall where I can walk and see the mountains. I have seen birds preying on fish while I was taking a walk there.

Penny – SPES Member since 2010

Why did you become a member of SPES?

My childhood was spent outdoors. Stanley Park, especially in the summer, was my neighbourhood – the space, the sky, the water, a zoo….Memories of ice skating on a frozen solid Lost Lagoon and countless family outings in Stanley Park. My desire to support Mother Nature drove me to join. SPES plays many roles in protecting nature especially through education.

Where is your favourite place in Stanley Park?

Lost Lagoon: habitat to marine, land and bird life.  I love the Second Beach salt chuck for sea birds.

What has been a memorable SPES experience for you?

Banding song birds in the Park with a bird expert during Vancouver Bird Week (now called Vancouver Bird Celebration).

Anything else you’d like to share?

The endless bounty of Nature: experience it with SPES, explore its spaciousness!

Judy and RonSPES Members since 2017

Judy and Ron standing in Lost Lagoon with a swallow nest box

Why did you become a member of SPES?

It all started with the Herons. I read or heard that there was a Heron cam and I loaded it onto my computer at home, and then at work and, when I had spare time, would watch it. I became hooked. That year, one of the nests produced 5 eggs. We (at work) followed them along from hatching to fledging and they became known to us as the “Jackson 5”.

One day Ron and I went down to carefully stand below [the heron colony] and listen….We walked by the Nature House on the lagoon, went in, looked around and left with brochures. I signed up for SPES emails, sponsored a heron nest for Ron at Christmas that year, and probably donated. I’m not sure when I decided on a membership versus donations, but am glad I did.  

What has been a memorable experience for you as a SPES member?

One of the emails asked for volunteers to install the swallow boxes in Lost Lagoon. It was a great experience! We had a lot of fun, wading out into the lagoon, trying to walk on the silty bottom, and making sure we put the nests up pointing the right way. Ariane was in charge at that time and she was gracious and informative, filling us in on the swallows we were helping and giving us more info on the lagoon itself. In the fall, we opened them up to see the nests that had been built, cleaned them out and stored them in the shed. We have enjoyed helping annually since then.

Why have you remained a member over the years?

I believe our increased awareness of nature has been enhanced by belonging to SPES. I have enjoyed the lectures online these past couple of years. The one about Crows was great. I attended a walk/talk to Beaver Lake one evening given by Ariane (“Beavers, Bats and Owls”). She brought along an iPad with a program that “heard” the bats and somehow took their sound and showed it amplified on the screen. Very cool!  We also saw some beavers swimming around.  I’ve also attended a couple of bird watching/identifying walks around the lagoon. It prompted me to start trying to identify more birds in my own backyard. Ron lives in Sechelt and has eagles nesting close by. We now watch them more closely….I think that the mix of on line and in person programs are a good idea. I have done both and certainly find them well-done and informative. I always want to attend more….

Anything else you’d like to share?

With more and more condos going up in Vancouver, we need somewhere to go and learn about our ecology. Get out and get dirty, or wet. SPES, with Stanley Park, is an affordable, interesting and beautiful way to explore.

Join our SPES member family today! Your membership will help us connect thousands of people to nature and make a positive difference for wildlife and ecosystems in Stanley Park.