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Environmental speakers series leads up to Earth Day

Greenways Land Trust and Museum at Campbell River extending Art+Earth Festival this year
The speaker series starts with a talk by Sonia Voicescu on the butterflies of Vancouver Island. Photo supplied by Museum at Campbell River

Campbell River’s Art+Earth Festival is being extended in 2021, kicking off with a speaker series presented by the Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust.

Three speakers from the University of Victoria’s Speakers Bureau have already been lined up to give virtual speeches on different environmental topics once a month leading up to Earth Day in April.

“This is such an exciting partnership between Greenways, UVic and the Museum,” said Ken Blackburn, Program Manager at the Museum. “Together our community needs to develop a better understanding of all aspects of our natural world.”

“We’re running one talk every month and we are thinking as a group that we want to incorporate this into a year-long Art+Earth festival celebration so that we don’t focus only on that September slot,” added Greenways spokesperson Lydia Stratemann. “We want to extend it.”

First will be a discussion of the butterflies of Southern Vancouver Island by PhD student Sonia Voicescu on Feb. 23. Voicescu will look at the history of the Island as an important destination for observing butterflies in the 1800s, as well as their biology, decline and recommendations on how we can encourage and attract the insects back into our cities and gardens.

In March, the discussion will focus on the Earth’s natural systems and how we can reduce our ecological footprints to ensure the quality of life for all.

Dr. Trevor Hancock will discuss how the planets systems provide us with oxygen, water, food, materials and everything necessary for life, and that in Canada alone the ecological footprint is equivalent to almost five times the Earth’s capacity. Using the concept of One Planet Regions, Hancock will help people learn to reduce their impact on the planet. This talk will take place on March 24.

The final talk leading up to Earth Day will be on April 20. Dr. Valentin Schaefer will be discussing how cities can be “dynamic and fascinating place(s) for both nature and people.” His talk will counter the claim that cities are biological deserts (meaning lacking in the means to support non-human life), and that they are actually often located on prime biological landscapes like estuaries and floodplains.

North Island College biology professor and Greenways board chair Sandra Milligan will introduce the topics and moderate question and answer periods during the talks.

Pre-registration is required for the events. Tickets are $7 and proceeds will be split between the Museum and Greenways Land Trust. Tickets are available at

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