Helping to create thriving communities and healthy environments
GORGE WATERWAY NATURE HOUSE
Esquimalt Gorge Park, Victoria BC
Spring 2017 Hours (March 18 - May 31): Saturday and Sunday 10 AM - 3 PM
Admission by donation
Check out our Facebook page for updates
Summer 2017 Hours (June 1- August 31): Sunday to Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM
Volunteer Opportunities are available!
History of the Gorge Waterway
The Gorge Waterway Nature House is a public educational space located in Esquimalt Gorge Park and is operated by the World Fisheries Trust, a non-profit organization based out of Victoria. The Gorge Waterway, known as ‘The Gorge’, is the stretch of water connecting Victoria Harbour to Portage Inlet. It has a rich history as an important spiritual place and food-gathering area for First Nations, and remains a home to a variety of marine and wildlife habitat, as well as being a recreational destination for residents of Victoria. Dangerous levels of pollution and dumping of sewage into the Gorge in the first half of the 20th century dramatically reduced its water quality, and put at risk the sustainability of the wildlife inhabiting it. Extensive clean-up efforts in the 1990s successfully reversed this trend, and now, the World Fisheries Trust is a member of a network of non-profits and community stewards monitoring the Gorge ecosystem and running educational outreach programs to raise awareness on the importance of environmental conservation.
Check out VOICES OF THE GORGE - video created by those living on the Gorge Waterway
Our Nature House
In 2008, the World Fisheries Trust, in partnership with the town of Esquimalt and other local NGOs, opened the Gorge Waterway Nature House, a local community hub of marine and environmental education. Its aim is to protect the future of the Gorge and its ecosystem by educating the public and key stakeholders and raising awareness of key local environmental issues. The Nature House has attracted thousands of visitors since its opening, and was selected as the Vancouver Island Construction Association’s Young Construction Leaders group’s legacy project for 2012, offering new renovations and an increased capacity to display educational material for the Nature House’s growing popularity and visitor base.
What We Offer
(1) Hands-on Nature Learning - The Nature House is home to an interactive marine touch tank, watershed model of the Gorge Waterway, microscope stations, marine and terrestrial samples and creative space for kids.
(2) Educational Programming - We aim to build a generation of compassionate environmental stewards through our place-based education programs. We host schools, community centres, summer camps, and birthday parties. We accommodate all learning levels!
(3) Informational Services: We provide free brochures and booklets from NGOs and municipalities with tips on how to contribute to the health of the Gorge Waterway and surrounding ecosystems.
(4) Education Materials: We offer a wide range of curriculum material, aquatic and terrestrial ID guides, and interest books.
(5) Concession: We sell a variety of beverages and snacks for hungry park goers
How to Find Us
We're located in the heart of the city!
Directly on the #26 (Tillicum at Gorge Bridge)
#14 (Craigflower at Forshaw)
#11 and #8 (both Gorge Rd W at Albina)