Meet at the Reconciliation Pole

A great many of our field trips begin with the instruction to "Meet at the Reconciliation Pole".

The Reconciliation Pole, raised on UBCs Main Mall outside the Forest Sciences Centre on April 1, 2017,  was carved by Haida master carver and hereditary Chief James Hart, also known 7idansuu (Edenshaw). 

The 17-metre tall totem pole carved from an 800 year old cedar tree from Haida Gwaii represents the victims and survivors of Canada's residential school system.  

The Reconciliation Pole tells the story of the time before, during, and after the Indian residential school system – a system that began in Canada in the 1800s and ended with the last school closure in 1996.

We've included a diagram of the Reconciliation Pole in your registration package with an explanation of the story the Reconciliation Pole tells. 

Friday Field Trips & Tours

12:30 pm – Beaty Biodiversity Museum tour (preregister $9)

Meet at the Reconciliation Pole, outside the Forest Sciences Centre. You will be guided the two block walk to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum where you will meet your tour leader. 

Tour Length: The guided tour length is 1 hour.  Note: Your fee includes museum admission so plan extra time before and after your tour to explore and enjoy the museum at your own pace.  

Tour Guide: a Beaty Biodiversity Museum Educator 

Tour Description

Biodiversity can be defined as the variety of life, but it is much more complex than that sounds. On this group tour, you will explore the museum as you touch authentic specimens and hear a variety of stories that highlight what biodiversity is and what makes it so fascinating.  You will learn more about the museum and collections as well as the relationships between biodiversity and mechanisms that organisms use to thrive in different environments.     

Friday Field Trips & Tours

--FULL-- 12:30 pm - UBC Farm & Forest Tour [MODERATE ]

Meet at the Reconciliation Pole, outside the Forest Sciences Centre 

Tour Length: 3 km walking tour, return by 2:45pm; most of the walk is on level ground but there will be some uneven pathways and stepping over logs in the forest. Suitable for walking poles. 

Tour Leaders: Bill Ramey, assisted by Sue Kay; UBC Farm staff will provide an introduction at the Farm. 

Tour Description

We will walk along the Main Mall Greenway and sidewalk to the UBC Farm, then through its forest component of maturing second growth trees, including some examples of old growth logged cedar stumps. The UBC Farm is a 24 hectare teaching and learning space, and integrated production farm and includes a 90-year-old coastal hemlock forest. The UBC Farm comprises a mosaic of cultivated annual crop fields, perennial hedgerows and orchards, pasture, teaching gardens, and forest stands.  The UBC Farm is certified organic and grows over 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and features honey beehives and egg-laying, open-pasture hens.  Our tour will walk alongside some of the farm fields and have a short introduction to the UBC Farm by one of the farm staff. We will view hedgerows planted for wildlife about five years ago and nest boxes. The UBC Farm is 24 hectares in size. Read about its long history, dating back to 1911, at this link: In 1997 the area was designated as ‘future housing reserve’ and a movement began to protect the 24 hectare site, by Friends of the Farm. Nature Vancouver was one of the many organizations that worked together towards retention of the 24 hectare farm and forest. The ‘Great Farm Trek’ on April 7, 2009, brought over 2,000 supporters to celebrate retaining the UBC Farm in its existing size and location. Finally in 2011 the farm was zoned in UBC’s land use plan as “Green Academic”. The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm runs several programs including: farm practicum, children’s programs, community activities and indigenous initiatives. There is a seasonal Farm Market, CSA program (weekly Community Supported Agricultural boxes), seed collections and flowers. UBC Forestry students run Christmas tree sales. Read about more of the initiatives, research including Agroforestry, instructional resources, and events at: 

About the Leaders

Bill Ramey and Sue Kay have helped lead Nature Vancouver’s monthly bird survey around the farm and forest for the past decade. Bill is a long term Nature Vancouver member and UBC Professor Emeritus, Microbiology and Immunology. Sue has worked as a teacher, writer, and urban gardener. She has been involved with bird groups and walks in both the United States and Canada for 30 years and is interested in birds and how they relate to the environment and ecosystems they live in.   

Friday Field Trips & Tours

--FULL--12:30 pm – UBC Botanical Gardens [ EASY ]

Meet at the Reconciliation Pole


Field Trip Length: Walking distance about 2 km return on even surfaces. Return by 2:45 pm 

Field Trip Leader: Egan Davis 

Field Trip Description

The approximately 20 hectare Botanical Gardens has many different habitats, including alpine garden, food garden, Carolinian Forest, BC Rainforest and several old growth native veteran trees throughout the Asian Garden. Blooming plants will be plentiful in early May. This field trip will highlight how the UBC Botanical Garden is embracing ecological principles in horticulture. Read more at: 

About the Leader

Egan Davis is Chief Educator, Horticulture Training Program, UBC Botanical Gardens. He is also well-known to CBC North by Northwest listeners, talking on gardening with Cheryl McKay on Saturday mornings.

Friday Field Trips &Tours

--FULL--12:30 pm – Grand Fir, Old Growth Trees [ EASY ]

Meet at the Reconciliation Pole 

Field Trip Length: Walking distance about 3 km return on level ground. Return by 2:45 pm. 

Field Trip Leader: David Cook 

Field Trip Description

Unlike the majority of Pacific Spirit Regional Park, which was logged exhaustively in the 1890’s, the slopes above Wreck Beach and around the UBC Botanical Gardens are relatively intact old-growth forest; one of the most accessible and beautiful big tree routes in Metro Vancouver. After walking from the Reconciliation Pole to the start point for our forest walk we will view one of North America’s largest grand firs. We will then walk along the thickly forested Old Marine Drive to a stand of grand firs and old-growth Douglas-firs. Along the way you will hear about and view the ecology of an old-growth temperate forest and learn to identify the various plant species. 

About the Leader

David Cook is a long-time member of Nature Vancouver. 

He has co-ordinated both the Botany and Geology Sections of Nature Vancouver over many years. David has given nature-related talks and interpretive field trips for many organizations during this time. He is involved in the management and preservation of old-growth forests on the North Shore.     

Friday Field Trips & Tours

1:00 pm – UBC Forestry Lab tours

Meet at the Reconciliation Pole  outside the Forest Sciences Centre . 

Tour Length:  from 1:00 – 2:45pm 

Tour Guides: Graduate students coordinated by Professor Dr. John Richardson, UBC Department of Forest and Conservation 

Tour Description

Participants will be split into six small groups to tour the UBC Forest Sciences Research Labs, with ten minute stops in the each of the labs where a short presentation about the research being conducted will be provided:

Dr. Lori Daniels: Dr. Daniels and her research team in the Tree-Ring Lab at UBC reconstruct the forest history to understand how our management choices affect ecosystem function and resilience. Her novel research on wildfires traces changes to our forests over the past several centuries.  Join us to learn to read between the lines and discover the legacies of environmental change embedded in tree rings. See: and this impressive White Paper recently sent to the BC Government (following our extraordinary summer of forest fires)on how to improve wildfire preparedness in BC: 

Dr. Sally Aitken: Dr. Aitken has been at the forefront of rigorously testing the ideas of assisted migration for forests of the future. Her Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics works on plant genetics and climate change, including studies of populations of trees transplanted into novel environments.  You will see how they are testing the different aspects of tree growth in different conditions that will affect our future forests. See: 

Dr. John Richardson: The director of the Stream and Riparian Research Laboratory will show you that invertebrates, terrestrial and freshwater, are an incredibly diverse group of organisms that contribute to supporting food webs, processing plant litter and other waste, and many other important ecosystem functions. We will have a suite of live and dead specimens you can observe under the microscope or in aquaria. You will get a quick lesson on how to tell some of these small creatures apart.  See: 

Dr. Stephen Sheppard: Dr. Sheppard will show you how they allow people to visualise the future forest using computer projections that allow you to immerse yourself into alternate future forest states. Come and experience the ability to feel your responses to different decisions about the future urban forest environment.  See: 

Dr. Scott Hinch: Dr. Hinch leads the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory. Their innovative research has shown the impacts of rises in temperature on survival of salmon, the effects of air exposure (think of the hero pictures every fisher takes), how they find their way back to the streams they were born in and much more. In the laboratory they rear young fishes to study aspects of their ecology and genetics, and you will be introduced to the biology of several salmon species and see their young in this remarkable laboratory. See 

Staff: UBC’s Centre for Advanced Wood Processing develops new ways to use wood fibre for everything from building construction, to furniture, to the podiums you saw during the 2010 Winter Olympics.  As a renewable resource, wood fibre is a wonder material with such potential. You will see the tools and designs that come out of this leading incubator for novel uses of wood. See: 

Friday Field Trips & Tours

--FULL--1:00 pm – UBC Marine Biology Lab tour

Meet at the Reconciliation Pole, outside the Forest Sciences Centre, where you will be guided on the two block walk to the Marine Biology building 

Tour Length:  Return to the Forest Sciences Centre by 2:45 pm 

Tour Leaders: graduate students 

Tour Description

During the lab tour, graduate students will explain their research on topics such as coastal marine ecology and climate change impacts. See more information at: