WBT Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia

124-1489 Marine Drive, West Vancouver, BC, V7W 1B9
Telephone: 604-922-1550     Fax: 604-922-8034     

- making British Columbia a safer place for birds -


Click here for Printable PDF version


Wild Bird Trust is dedicated to wild birds and their habitats, on the principle all wildlife must benefit

Activities and Objectives:

Wild Bird Trust Properties:

The sanctuaries are:

  1. The Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver now in its twentieth year of operation with capital projects almost complete. A Nature House with wheelchair accessible washrooms is nearing completion.
  2. McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary, Salt Spring Island.   At the time of purchase the twelve and a half acre McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary was considered to be British Columbia's largest unprotected colony of breeding Great Blue Herons (over 120 active nests).

    Project partners Waterbird Watch Collective, Islands Trust Fund and Wild Bird Trust successfully raised the funds ($260,000) for this acquisition in record-breaking time. Predation by Bald Eagles decimated the colony and the herons dispersed. It is projected that the herons will eventually return and the site is managed with this hope in mind. This site does not have public access, but excellent interpretive signage on the Great Blue Heron can be enjoyed at roadside.


Note: WBT does not handle rehabilitation. For help with injured wildlife, please contact:

Wildlife Rescue Association
5216 Glencairn Drive, Burnaby
Telephone: 604 526 7275

Education is also provided in the community through on-site signage and interpretive programs at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver and the following separate program.

*        Steering "Naturescape British Columbia." Promoting the care and enhancement of habitat for wildlife on privately owned land.


       "The Maplewood Conservation Area in North Vancouver is the last undeveloped waterfront wetland on the north shore of Burrard Inlet.  For over twenty years, public interest groups lobbied to preserve this prime site as a wildlife sanctuary.  In 1992 the owners of the majority of the area (the federal government's Vancouver Port Authority, or VPA) reached an agreement to lease the VPA area for 49 years to Environment Canada to permit the area to be managed as a wildlife conservation area.  
     In the late 1980s, the District of North Vancouver (DNV), which owns important fresh and saltwater marshlands adjoining the VPA lands, designated the DNV and VPA lands as the Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats in a motion by council.  The VPA, the DNV and Environment Canada chose WBT Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia as the operators of the Conservation Area.  Wild Bird Trust, a non-profit, membership based provincial organization, was founded by Dr. Richard C. Beard and Patricia M. Banning-Lover in 1993.
        Dedicated to the protection of birds and their habitats on the principle that all wildlife must benefit, the WBT met the challenge of turning a former degraded industrial site into a haven for wildlife.  The organization regards the Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats as its flagship sanctuary - thousands of volunteer hours have been spent on restoration, and the dream of evolving a "living classroom" for all to enjoy is finally coming true!  With funding secured by WBT from government, industry and the public, an extensive freshwater marsh and pond system with inter-connecting creeks was excavated in the 30-year-old filled area in the western part of the site.  Landscape architect Patrick Mooney designed all the major enhancement projects at Maplewood, including the freshwater marsh.  The system was dedicated in the spring of 1997 and is now a breeding habitat for Marsh Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, Wood Ducks, American Coots, Blue-winged Teal, Red-winged Blackbirds, Pied-billed Grebes, Soras and Virginia Rails. Over 3 km. of wheelchair-accessible trails, with occasional resting benches and a viewing platform, have been constructed in the area to permit the public to observe the abundant wildlife."   

Text by Kevin Bell and Patricia M. Banning-Lover 
Extract from The Birder's Guide to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland 2001, 
Vancouver Natural History Society (Whitecap Books)

The Society's first project is at the Port of Vancouver and District of North Vancouver Wildlife Conservation Areas at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver. This is an example of how protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat can be compatible with education and public enjoyment. In the thirteen years of its existence, the Trust has had success in establishing this, the first wildlife sanctuary on Burrard Inlet's north shore. This seventy-five acre site adjoins and helps protect the largest area of salt marsh and mudflats in Burrard Inlet. With the creation of a new 5 acre fresh water marsh a step has been taken towards restoring the small amount of wetland which remains in Burrard Inlet.  The bird species list has risen from 208 to 246.

With over three kilometers of wheelchair accessible trails, built in part with generous funding from The British Columbia Waterfowl Society,  and with ongoing habitat enhancement the Conservation Area serves as a model for future sanctuaries throughout the Province. It is becoming an important focus in the local community and has given the Society the credibility and experience to establish other projects.

On-site activities include:

Educational sessions for schools and private groups
A naturalist will lead the group and cater the walk to school curriculum or as required. Waivers must be signed before tour commences.

Free Bird Survey at 8 am on the first Saturday of each month
An experienced birder will lead the survey.  Observe and learn your birds at 25 locations in the Conservation Area.

Free Interpretive "theme walks" held at 10 am. on the second Saturday of each month
Meet at the Conservation Area site office and enjoy a 1 1/2 hr. guided walk with legendary Lower Mainland Naturalist Al Grass. 

Volunteer day on the third Saturday of the month
A variety of activities await volunteers who wish to help with maintenance. 
These include, beach cleanup, scotch broom removal, tree planting, trail building etc.  
Come for a couple of hours - or all day!  Manager Ernie Kennedy supervises volunteers.  All volunteers are required to fill in an application form and sign a waiver.

"Return of the Osprey" Festival  
This bi-annual event celebrates the nesting Osprey who return every year to their nests on dolphins (pilings).  From a single pair in 1991 the count has risen to up to four breeding pairs in Burrard Inlet.

"Build it and they will come!"  Maplewood's Purple Martin Breeding Box Program
With the help of several other organizations, including the Vancouver Natural History Society, boxes were attached to the dolphins (pilings). The martins returned after a twenty-two year absence from the Lower Mainland and from a single nesting pair in 1994 the new colony has grown dramatically. 

All activities take place rain or shine and start from the site office. 
The Conservation Area Office is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am - 2 pm. 
Weekends 10 am - 4 pm. 
The Conservation Area is located at 2645 Dollarton Highway, North Vancouver
(two kilometers east of the Second Narrows Bridge). 
Conservation Area site office Telephone: 604-903-4471


Single membership is $25 per year  
Family membership is $30
Life membership is $500

Members have voting privileges, receive WINGSPAN, and are able to participate in special membership events. Membership in WBT has grown from 0 in 1993 to stand now at about 1,000 active memberships - over 1600 individual members.  

Downloadable versions of WINGSPAN now available (adobe acrobate reader required);

Society Information

Incorporated as a non-profit society under the Provincial Societies' Act, Society # S - 31197
A charitable organization under the federal "Income Tax Act," charity # 1004126-54.


WINGSPAN published twice a year.

Downloadable Documents

Maplewood Flats Checklist (formatted to print on 11" x 14" paper - small size font - 2 pages)

Patricia M. Banning-Love

Geoffrey Bird

Board of Directors
Patricia M. Banning-Lover
Geoffrey Bird
Adrian P. Joseph
Derek Killby
Eric W. Lovis
Dr. Chistopher Pharo

Recording Secretary
Patricia M. Banning-Lover

Eric W. Lovis

Immediate Past President
Geoffrey Bird

Past Presidents
Patricia M. Banning-Lover
Richard C. Beard

Advisory Level

Habitat Advisor: Patrick F. Mooney

Special Events & "Return of the Osprey"

Festival Administrator: Patricia M. Banning-Lover

MCA Manager

Ernie Kennedy Tel: 778 881-5300

Volunteer Co-ordinators

Ernie Kennedy Tel: 778 881-5300
Patricia M. Banning-Lover


Patricia M. Banning-Lover
Produced at Minerva House


John A. Fraser P.C., O.C., O.B.C., Q.C.
Robert Bateman, O.C., O.B.C., Artist and Naturalist