The Butterfly Count date is Sunday July 1st with a suggested start time of 10 am.  The rain date is Monday July 2nd.  Interested members can consult with Kathryn Boothby, Ron Allensen or Joe Stephenson for suggested sites, methodology and any ID issues (photography suggested where possible).  Results are forwarded to the Toronto Entomological Society (TEA). Members are encouraged to participate in this “fun day”. To the extent possible our count territory is the same as our bird count area.  To be followed by social meal at ‘Schooners’?


Meeting Location Change for 2018

Meetings are now held at the Straffordville Community Centre, which is at 56169 Heritage Line, Straffordville, Ontario.  Time is 7:00 p.m.  Meet in the Trackless Room.

What is the OVN?

The Otter Valley Naturalists consists of about 50 members.  We are members of a much larger provincial body known as Ontario Nature (ON). Ontario Nature includes over 160 clubs and over 35,000 members from across the province of Ontario.

The OVN meets monthly, usually the 2nd Monday of each month, September through June, at the Vienna Community Centre.  The club  has speakers and activities every month. Some of the activities include: the Christmas Bird Count, the Baillie Birdathon (in Conjunction with Bird Studies Canada), a summer butterfly count, Monarch Butterfly tagging, a spring cleanup, nature walks, education and outreach, habitat creation and rehabilitation projects.

We look forward to seeing you!




Otter Valley Naturalists


Article 1:  Name and Status

  • The name of the Club shall be the Otter Valley Naturalists.
  • The Club is an unincorporated entity.
  • The Club shall be a federated member of Ontario Nature, which is a nonprofit charitable corporation.


Article 2:  Objectives

  • The objectives of the Club are to:
  1. Foster public interest and appreciation of Nature.
  2. Educate Club members and others about Nature.
  3. Promote environmental protection.
  4. Encourage wise stewardship of all natural resources, and to take action, where deemed necessary, on matters of environmental concern.
  5. To document, record and publish information on the flora and fauna of the Lower Otter Valley and the Bayham area.


  • The activities of the Club shall be conducted without material gain for its members; any income to the Club shall be used in promoting the objectives stated above.


Article 3:  Membership

  • Membership of the Club shall be open to any person completing a membership application form and paying the relevant subscription/joining fee as determined by the Annual General Meeting of the Club Members.
  • There shall be five classes of membership available. These are:
    • Regular Membership; $20.
    • Junior Member (under 16 years of age); $5
    • Associate Member; $25
    • Family Membership; $25
    • Honourary Member; no joining fee


Entitlements of Members


The five classes of membership – regular, junior, associate, family and honorary- are defined below:

  1. A ‘Regular’ member shall be an individual who supports the objectives of the Club within the geographic jurisdiction of the Club. A Regular member shall have full rights to vote in the affairs of the Club and otherwise enjoy the benefits of membership as from time to time defined by resolution of the Executive Committee.


  1. A ‘Junior” member shall have the same rights as a ‘Regular’ member.


  1. An ‘Associate’ member shall be an organization that generally supports the objectives of the Club but does not otherwise qualify as a Regular member. An Associate member may enjoy the benefits of membership as from time to time defined by resolution but shall not have a right to vote in the affairs of the Club.
    1. Note: This is the most appropriate membership category for organizations that wish to recognize members of the Club in their membership structure.  Collectives and cooperatives are a noted exception where they might more appropriately fall under the definition of ‘regular’ member.


  1. A ‘Family’ membership shall have the same rights as a ‘Regular’ member, with one voting privilege per family.


  1. An ‘Honourary’ member shall be any person or organization that, by resolution of the Board of Directors, is deemed to have given distinguished service or support to the Club and its objectives. An Honourary member shall enjoy such entitlements to benefits and votes as from time to time defined by resolution of the Board of Directors.


Article 4: Directors

  • Management of the Club shall be vested in a Board of four Directors who shall be members in good standing throughout their term of office. Directors shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for a term of two consecutive years, but may be re-elected to the same office or another office the following year.


  • Vacancies on the Board may be filled from the membership of the Club or left vacant until the next annual meeting. Directors calling a special meeting of the members to elect new Directors may fill vacancies on the Board.


  • A quorum shall consist of a majority of Directors (3).


  • Meetings of the Board shall be held regularly at such time and place as may be determined by the President or the Vice-President. A minimum of three meetings per year is suggested in August, November, May.Special meetings may be held with reasonable notice at the call of the President or the Vice-President, or at the call of the Secretary or the Treasurer by request from two Directors.


5.) Directors shall receive no remuneration for their service.


6.) If a Director is absent for more than three consecutive Director’s meetings without prior notification to a member of the Board, the Board will have the authority to replace that Director.


Article 5:  Executive

  • The Officers of the Club shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. Except for the office of President, any one person can hold more than one office at a time.


  • Director’s Accountability

The Board and individual directors represent the membership of the Club and are directly accountable to said membership.  They also have a fiduciary duty to those who provide funds to the Club and to its staff for the sound administration of the Club.  They have a general duty of trust to those served by the Club and to the general public.  Every director of the Club shall exercise the powers and discharge the duties of his office honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of the Club, and in connection therewith shall exercise the degree of care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in similar circumstances.



The President shall, when present, preside at all meetings of the Club and, along with the Board, generally oversee and supervise the governance of the Club including he signing of by-laws, special resolutions and other such documents requiring his signature. The President shall also oversee such other duties as may from time to time be prescribed by resolution of the Board or that are otherwise incidental to this office.  The President shall be elected for a term of two years.


Vice- President

The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, preside over meetings of the Club and of the Board and its Executive Committee and otherwise exercise all the powers and duties of the President.  The Board, in the absence of the President and Vice-President, may appoint from among its numbers, an Acting President.



The Secretary shall be responsible for giving notices; keeping records of all meetings of the members and such other duties as may from time to time be assigned by resolution of the Board.



The Treasurer shall keep full and accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements of the Club in proper books of account and shall deposit all monies or other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Club in such bank or banks as may from time to time be designated by the Board.


The Treasurer shall, under the direction of the Board, disburse the funds of the Club, taking proper vouchers therefore and shall render to the Board at regular meetings thereof, or whenever required, an account of all such transactions and the financial position of the Club.


Youth Coordinator

The Youth Coordinator shall provide leadership to the involvement of young individuals who are interested in the Club activities.


3)  Director’s Indemnification

Every director or officer of the Club and his executors, administrators and estate shall be indemnified and saved harmless, out of the funds of the corporation, from and against:

  1. All costs charges and expenses whatsoever that the director sustains or incurs in or about any action, suit or proceeding which is brought, commenced or prosecuted against him/her, or in respect of any act, deed, matter or thing whatsoever, made, done or permitted by him/her, in or about the execution, in good faith, of the duties of his/her office or in respect of any such liability;
  2. All other costs, charges and expenses which he sustains or incurs in or about or in relation to the affairs thereof, except such costs, charges or expenses as are occasioned by his own willful neglect or default. The Club shall carry such sufficient indemnification insurance as is currently available and can be reasonably afforded by the Club.


4)  Signing Authority

  • The signing authorities of the Club shall be the Officers of the Club.
  • All cheques shall be signed by the Treasurer and one other Officer.


Article 6:  Auditor

  • The financial year of the Club shall end March 31 of each year.
  • The accounts shall be audited by an auditor appointed by the Board, unless exempted in writing by the Board.
  • The Auditor’s report shall be communicated to the membership at the AGM or in a newsletter published thereafter, or by electronic means.


Article 7:  Committees

Committees shall be recommended by the general membership.  The Board may approve such committees, as it deems necessary to carry out the work of the Club.


Article 8:  Members’ Meetings

  • The AGM shall be held in June following the close of the financial year, or at a later date if deemed necessary by the Board.
  • A special meeting may be called by the President at any time.
  • A special meeting may also be called by a quorum of members, if requested in writing to the Secretary.
  • Notice of the AGM and of any special meeting shall be made known to the members at least 14 days before the date fixed for the meeting.
  • A quorum for a General Meeting shall be five (5) full members and three (3) Officers of the Club including two from the President; Secretary and Treasurer.
  • Voting (Except for Elections) shall be by show of hands unless a secret ballot is demanded by a majority of the members present. Each member present shall be entitled to one vote.  In the case of equal votes, the President shall be entitled to an additional casting vote.


Article 9:  Nominations

  • The nominating committee shall consist of two members of the Executive.
  • Prior to the AGM, the nominating committee shall nominate willing candidates to fill all vacancies on the Board.
  • At the AGM the nominating committee shall put forward a slate of willing candidates for all vacancies on the Board, and elections will be held if necessary.
  • Additional nominations may be made by the membership at the AGM and elections will be held if necessary.


Article 10:  By-laws and Amendments

  • The Board may pass By-laws, resolutions and regulations consistent with this Constitution, and may amend, vary, or repeal the same at its discretion.
  • By-Law amendments may be proposed by any member of the Club.
  • Such proposed amendments shall be sent to the Secretary at least six weeks before the AGM or special meeting, and shall be brought to the attention of members along with the notice of such meeting.
  • Such amendments shall become part of this Constitution on approval by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those voting at the meeting.


Article 11:  Dissolution

  • If at any General Meeting of the Club, a resolution is passed calling for the dissolution of the Club, the Secretary shall immediately convene a Special General Meeting of the Club to be held not more than one month thereafter to discuss and vote on the resolution.
  • If at that Special General Meeting, the resolution is carried by at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Full Members present at the meeting, the General Committee shall thereupon, or at such date as shall have been specified in the resolution, proceed to realize the assets of the Club and discharge all debts and liabilities of the Club.
  • After discharging all debts and liabilities of the Club, the remaining assets shall not be paid or distributed amongst the Full Members of the Club, but shall be given or transferred to some other voluntary organization having objects similar to those of the Club.



Signed and dated:
















Additional Articles

Additional Articles may be added to establish rules for keeping of Books and Records; Execution of Documents; Banking; Borrowing; Appointment of Auditors; and Rules of Procedure.



Notes from Carolinian West Regional Meeting – Spring 2018

Chaired by:  Lisa Richardson, Nature Network Coordinator, Ontario Nature.

Anita Caveney, Carolinian West Regional Director, welcomed participants.  Anita is finishing her third, and final, two-year term of office in the spring, 2019.

The Executive Chair of Ontario Nature, Otto Peter, made a short presentation.   As Ontario Nature serves as an umbrella organization for some 150 plus nature clubs, Otto challenged that he would like to see individual Ontario Nature memberships promoted.  He was pleased to report that this year the ‘Youth Summit’ will expand to about 100 participants.  Sponsorship of each individual requires a donation of $350.  He suggested local service clubs might be willing to assist?  He also said the organization is in need of directors at large.

David Wake gave a presentation of Nature London’s over 150 year history and recent activities.

Attendees were called upon to provide a brief update on two ‘special projects’ their club has participated in since last regional meeting.  OVN highlighted ongoing work at the Port Burwell East Beach Project and maintenance efforts at the Arthur Langford Nature Preserve.

Lisa Richardson provided an Ontario Nature update; email addresses of delegated office contacts for respective projects are included.

  • Event/ Transforming Conservation: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas in Ontario. London May 28, 29 and 30th  Information at
  • Ontario Nature AGM and Reunion/ June 1st to 3rd at Isaiah Tubbs Resort and Conference Centre, Prince Edward County.  Registration deadline April 17 
  • Nature Guardians Youth Council/ 21st to 23rd, Geneva Park Orillia   re; sponsorship and registration
  • Citizen Science Program/ Reptile and Amphibian Atlas.

Involving families to nurture youth interest was suggested.  Volunteers needed for ‘Atlas Area Coordinators’.

  • Ontario Nature is waiting a further ruling on whether ”court action can proceed” against the government’s allowance of two “neonic” pesticides that did not undergo an approval process.
  • Support of the ‘Protected Places Campaign’ was requested of individuals, and organizations.  This project is to hold government to account to the 1992 UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted in 2010.  As a start point the online support initiative is targeting crown land for protected status towards the 17% land/water target.

Sign the declaration:


Lisa also presented a list of five questions of interest to naturalists that could be posed to candidates running in the Provincial election.

  1. Will your party commit to achieving the 17% protected land/water target of the United Nations Convention on bio-diversity and initiate actions to achieve it?
  2. Will your party commit to strengthening protections for Ontario’s wetlands and addressing the negative impacts of infrastructure, urban development and drainage?
  3. Will your party support the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides and invest in identifying and promoting pollinator-friendly alternatives to pesticides for agriculture?
  4. Will your party commit to protecting and recovering species at risk?
  5. Will your party proceed with greenbelt expansion?

Anita Caveney provided an outline of the role and responsibilities of the ‘Carolinian West Regional Director’.   She will vacate this position in the spring 2019 and a replacement is being sought.

Michelle Kanter of the Carolinian Canada Coalition encouraged attendance at the ‘Go Wild Grow Wild’ green expo to take place April 7th at the Western Fairground London.

She also gave a presentation outlining a project ‘The Big Picture Report Card’.  Details on this project encouraging data collection on the prosperity of the Carolinian Life Zone can be found at; <>

Contact email:

Bernie VanDenBelt, Nature London President, introduced guest speaker Ken Westcar who talked about the proposed high speed rail link between Windsor and Toronto.  This political project should be of interest to all Ontarians based on the cost, 30 billion, the impact, and the net benefits.  Concerned citizens can learn more at;

Brian Smith of OPAL (Oxford People Against Landfill) then gave a presentation on the proposed Beachville Ontario landfill proposal by Walker Environmental.  The presentation outlined the scope of the proposal and potential environmental impact on the local watershed and the adjacent Thames River.  Information can be found at;


The fall meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2018.

Meeting adjourned at 2;30 followed by a tour of Springbank Park.