Grade 4 students at Glenlyon Norfolk School were inspired by Oak Bay residents past and present in a recent collaborative inquiry project. Pictured here, Tristan, 9, holds his painting of the Pacific Great Blue Heron, and Shreesha, 9, researched and painted the Western Purple Martin. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

It’s a beautiful day in the Naturehood

Grade 4 students at Glenlyon Norfolk celebrate Naturehood with illustrations of wildlife

Grade 4 students at Glenlyon Norfolk School (GNS), were inspired by Oak Bay residents past and present in a recent collaborative inquiry project. Studying the work of internationally renowned bird artist, Fenwick Lansdowne, who once lived on Transit Avenue, and receiving guidance from Linda Mercer, a current Oak Bay artist, the students researched and sketched 26 species of local wildlife.

The project, spearheaded by Sarah McLeod, teacher-librarian at GNS junior campus, had even more Oak Bay connections. The students researched wildlife found in and around Oak Bay and the Salish Sea with the help of local naturalist Dr. Jacques Sirois, and an app called Central Coast Biodiversity that was created a couple of years ago at UVic. GNS art teacher, Nancy Fletcher, then helped the students turn their research into beautiful artwork.

“All of these connections came together in this amazing inquiry project. The students researched the birds in the neighbourhood. They used secondary sources of information to research their critters and then they did beautiful watercolour artwork,” said McLeod.

The children illustrated 26 species of wildlife, mostly birds, living within 1 km of their school, for a total of 34 illustrations. They included Buffleheads, Marbled Murrelets, Pacific Great Blue Herons and many others.

“You have to see this inspiring collection. It will put a smile on your face,” said Sirois.

Glenlyon Norfolk is on the shores of Oak Bay itself, of the Salish Sea, and of Victoria Harbour Bird Sanctuary, a historic migratory bird sanctuary since 1923. The idea of the project is to celebrate the unique location of the school and the wildlife that calls the area home.

“As part of this collaborative effort to bring the local species to the attention of the community, we worked on these wonderful watercolours in keeping with the style of Fenwick Lansdowne,” said Fletcher.

“Fenwick Lansdowne died 10 years ago in 2008. Now it’s 2018 so we decided well, let’s put this together. Children and birds and art and Hallelujah,” said Sirois.

Shreesha, 9, who researched and painted the Western Purple Martin, liked painting the piece of art and learning about it the most.

“My favorite part was learning about what they do in the winter if they migrated someplace else besides Canada,” said Tristan, 9, who painted the Pacific Great Blue Heron.

The students will present their research and original watercolour artwork at a pop-up art exhibit at the Royal BC Museum on Friday, May 11.

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

Saanich set to crack down on overnight camping in parks

Local community leader says new measures promise to protect Cuthbert Holmes Park

Canada sweeps Pacific Rim Basketball Classic in Victoria

National men’s team beat China 108-72 on Sunday at the Save-on-Foods Centre

Vancouver Island Wave earns three provincial cup titles

U15 boys’ squad earns chance to play at national championship in Quebec

Victoria woman to cycle Portugal as winner of BC Bike to Work Week

Malene Foyd logged 49km cycling to work with the Ministry of Environment; “I always bike to work, rain or shine.”

Victoria man in custody after downtown stabbing

Officers arrested suspect without incident, hours after afternoon stabbing

Painted pianos pop up for public play Friday in Oak Bay

Pianos can be played during the day and will be covered overnight

Judge dismisses DNA request in Cranbrook triple murder case

Dean Christopher Roberts must appeal directly to the federal Minister of Justice, reads ruling.

Yes, we could use a soft drink tax

NDP rejects useful tax advice because it’s not popular

How the Gorge Canada Day Picnic grew from a basement idea to a single-day event with 10,000 visitors

‘We’re going to need more food,’ among lessons from first Gorge Canada Day Picnic

Late Bellingham homer sinks HarbourCats at home

Visiting Bells take two of three West Coast League games in Victoria, Cats off to Walla Walla

Saanich mayor says results of amalgamation referendum are not predictive

Mayor Richard Atwell warns against reading too much into the outcome of… Continue reading

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Rainbow crosswalk in B.C. defaced 10 days after installation

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk has been defaced sometime over the weekend

Most Read