Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre / Museum Facility
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre / Museum Facility is open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. To book a tour of the Nature Centre or Museum, please contact the Town of Tofield at 780-662-3269.
Located on the access road to Tofield is the Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre /Museum. Built in 1996, this facility combines the natural and cultural history of Tofield, interpretive information about Beaverhill Lake, tourist information, local artists display and more.
The Tofield Historical Society (THS) was formed in 1961 and soon after members established the Tofield Museum. The museum has been housed in three different locations: the first in a school house located on the Tofield School grounds, the second in an annex of the Tofield Arena and the third in the Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre/ Museum Facility.
The Tofield Museum provides exhibits that cover the development of Tofield from the early native settlements, to the coming of European and American settlers and subsequent agricultural and business developments. These exhibits reflect the development of schools, medical care, agricultural practices, and church communities of early pioneers.
The Tofield Museum is has accomplishments great milestones:
- 2011 – “Engagement Award” from Alberta Museums Association for our Museum in the Community
- 2012 – “Recognized Museum Status” from the Alberta Museums Association.
- THS is a member of CREAM (Central Rural East Alberta Museums), a support group for museums in rural Alberta.
Our board is very proud of our achievement as we strive to provide our visitors with the best possible experiences and programs.
Over the years the Tofield Historical Society had published two history books: Tales of Tofield 1 (1969) and Tales of Tofield 2 (2009). More about the history books
BEAVERHILL LAKE NATURE CENTRE
The Beaverhill Lake Nature Centre came into existence in 1985 through the efforts of a small group of local volunteers. Nearby Beaverhill Lake was already recognized as a “hotbed” for birding, and became an internationally renowned and recognized staging area for 270+ species of waterfowl. Extensive information on Beaverhill Lake and the wildlife found around it is organized in easy-to-read, interesting displays. Learn about the recognition given to Beaverhill Lake, or about the Beaverhill Bird Observatory and the many animals and birds to be found in the area. Take a quick visit to “Nature’s Marsh” – a natural marsh area located just behind the facility. Left to be as natural as possible, the surface drainage area annually boasts several species of birds nesting literally in “own backyard”.
In 1990, an increased in interest in birding, and birdwatchers to the area, led local government agencies to cooperatively plan the Beaverhill Lake Snow Goose Festival (1991 – 2002) – an annual “celebration of spring migration” through Beaverhill Lake. With volunteers from Edmonton Nature Club, Canadian Wildlife, Ducks Unlimited, etc., the Festival ran very successfully for 10 years. With declining water levels due to drought, conditions were not as favorable for birding in the nearby areas, and the Snow Goose Festival was suspended. Although the migrating birds still migrate through the Tofield area, they are more abundantly found in larger bodies of water nearby such as Hastings Lake or Islet Lake, as well as flooded fields and sloughs throughout the Beaver Hills and Tofield area.
In recent years, rising waters in Beaverhill Lake, stronger number of Snow Geese migrating through in the spring, and increased bird activity have renewed the interest in reviving the Snow Goose Festival. Planning began in 2019 for the return of the Snow Goose Festival in late April of 2021!
Other Links of Interest: Beaverhill Bird Observatory
e-bird (Bird Sightings: Beaverhill Lake and area)