Member Group Detail

Richmond Hill Naturalists

Town: Richmond Hill

Ontario Nature Region: Lake Ontario North

The Richmond Hill Naturalists have been an active organization serving southern York Region since 1955. We are dedicated to enjoying, protecting, promoting, and stimulating an interest in the environment and natural history.

For those feeling overwhelmed by urban sprawl, join a group of like-minded people to learn about nature. Help to preserve the remaining 'green' parts of the area through education and restoration and encourage the preservation of our natural environment.

Active birding, botany and environmental committees meet regularly. Partnering with the Town of Richmond Hill, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Evergreen, Ontario Streams, and Oak Ridges Friends of the Environment, the Richmond Hill Naturalists work to protect natural areas in our local headwaters of the Holland, Humber, Don and Rouge Rivers and their watersheds.

We have also participated annually in the Christmas Bird Count since our inception in 1955, contributing our findings to Bird Studies Canada and the Audubon Society in this Western Hemisphere-wide bird survey. The Richmond Hill Naturalists count circle covers Thornhill, Markham, Vaughan, Stouffville, Whitchurch, Aurora and Richmond Hill.

We are currently seeking the protection of the David Dunlap Observatory Parklands, through Municipal, Provincial and Federal designation of this internationally renowned cultural, historical and natural 189 acre site under threat of development in the centre of urban York Region. The Dunlap has all the benchmarks as a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We have reared endangered peregrine falcons on our Town Hall roof to release them back to the wild. We also surveyed amphibian migration in Richmond Hill, with the help of local volunteers, finding a new range extension for the nationally threatened Jefferson salamander in Richmond Hill. Later with this information, an Environmental Assessment was done on the Bayview extension, and ensured that a bridge and tunnels for wildlife passage was put in place under the new road.

Most prominently, our club has been actively involved in efforts to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine for years, particularly the bottleneck across the Yonge Street area in Oak Ridges, the namesake of the moraine. We participated in the now infamous Oak Ridges Moraine OMB hearing that was frozen by the Province and are still working with other groups to ensure that all of this sensitive area is protected for all time. We also assisted in the protection of the Greenbelt which adds in more protections for our the natural areas, the four rivers flowing through our communities, and the Oak Ridges Moraine.

Please join us at one of our monthly meetings or group outings. New members are always welcome.

Visit the Richmond Hill Naturalists' website or read their current newsletter for more information.

For more information please contact Ontario Nature at 1-800-440-2366 or


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