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History of the Red Deer River Naturalists — Alberta’s oldest conservation group — presented

Rod Trentham will speak about the RDRN on March 20 at Red Deer museum
A talk about the long history of the Red Deer River Naturalists will be held March 20 at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery. (Contributed photo).

After 120 years, the Red Deer River Naturalists are still going strong.

Member Rod Trentham will be giving a talk about Alberta’s oldest environmental organization at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

The Red Deer River Naturalists: A 120 year Rolling History will be presented at the monthly meeting of the Central Alberta Historical Society.

The Red Deer River Naturalists adopted this name in 1976. Formerly the group was called the Alberta Natural History Society since 1905. Before that it was known as the Territorial Natural History Society (from 1902), and the North West Entomological Society (from 1899).

But essentially, it’s been the same group for a century and two decades, making RDRN the oldest continuous Natural History Society in Alberta, said Trentham.

He will relate how members of RDRN have made “an astonishing impact” on Central Alberta and the province.

The RDRN is the reason Gaetz Lake Sanctuary was preserved, “why we have the Ellis Bird Farm, and why Waskasoo Park looks like it does as natural as possible,” says Trentham. The group also encouraged the city to try using a biological product for mosquito control.

“Through crests and troughs, meanders in focus and kinetic-elastic energy – always with ecological education as the core-quest — the Red Deer River Naturalists roll on and continue to be a vibrant, positive force,” says Trentham.

He has been a member of the RDRN since 1986, and co-authored an article with Michael Dawe on the group’s history in 1996 in Alberta Naturalist.

Trentham, who formerly worked for the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery, is a charter member of the Central Alberta Historical Society and a director with the Historical Society of Alberta since 2014.

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