Natural History and Loving Nature
Currently the Blomidon Naturalists Society's (BNS) Board is a strategic plan for the societies future in which it is seriously considering make the primary purpose of the Society to 'instill the love of nature'. The Society was founded in 1974 with purpose providing an organization where amateur naturalists could gather, explore and exchange information on the local natural history. The purpose is well described by the quote frequently used in its newsletter.
'The primary objective of the Society is to encourage and develop understanding and appreciation of nature in its members and the interested public. The word ‘nature’ is interpreted broadly and includes rocks, plants, animals, water, air, and stars.'
Apparently there are some on the board of the BNS that feel that the Society is not 'open' enough and elitist. Their solution to this 'problem' is to try to attract others to the society who just want to 'love nature'. There is nothing wrong with that and the current Society welcomes everyone who would like to join. The error is that these board members are determine to change the primary purpose of the Society.to that of encouraging just the 'love of nature'. Natural History is would be pushed into a secondary role.
My concern is that this change in the society would undermine the whole purpose of being a natural history society. Naturalists study, and learn about nature inorder to understand and appreciate nature. The joy of nature is in the learning. Almost everyone enjoys a walk in field and woods but that is not being a naturalist..
Definition of Natural History
natural history - NOUN
the scientific study of animals or plants, especially as concerned with observation rather than experiment, and presented in popular rather than academic form.
the study of the whole natural world, including mineralogy and paleontology.
3: the study of natural objects especially in the field from an amateur or popular point of view
More about the Blomidon Naturalists is available at their website https://blomidonnaturalists.ca