Biodiversity Days 2024

What is Biodiversity Days?

Biodiversity Days is a month-long event in May, to honour the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22) with a series of engagement opportunities that aim to celebrate and raise awareness of the fragile species, genes and ecosystems that sustain our communities. In 2024, the theme is “Be Part of the Plan”, where everyone has a role to play to advance The Biodiversity Plan.

Localizing this plan in Southwest BC is critical. Participate in one of our Biodiversity Days events to learn about the work already underway in our community and how you can take action from the ground up.

Events to Celebrate Biodiversity

This year’s fourth annual Biodiversity Days includes a diversity of in-person and online events. Dig into our 2024 program to celebrate biodiversity, with more events to come every week:

Interested in observing, identifying, and monitoring biodiversity on UBC Vancouver campus? Participate in our month-long Bioblitz* this May! Last year, we recorded 964 observations of 340 unique species. Join us again this year!

Connect with the natural world this month by logging observations in iNaturalist around UBC Vancouver campus! Check out our project page to see what people are logging or contribute your own observation. This project aims to help track our community science efforts across campus as we engage with the diversity of species and ecosystems on the UBC Vancouver Campus!

When: All May Long!
Where: UBC Vancouver Campus

Check it Out!

*Wondering what a Bioblitz is? It's an event for everyone that focuses on getting an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi and other organisms that live in an area.

UBC Botanical Garden's the Shop in the Garden is celebrating Biodiversity Days with a book signing of Collin Varner’s two new pocket guides, 50 Keystone Flora Species of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest and 50 Keystone Fauna Species of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. (Heritage House Publishing, each $19.95)

Collin Varner began his career at UBC in the late seventies as a young garden worker here at the Botanical Garden. By retirement he had become the campus Arborist and had saved countless trees over his long career. Drawing on his love of hiking and photography, he has authored many best-selling guides to the flora and fauna of coastal British Columbia.  His newly published  guides focus on the identification of the flora and fauna that are “keystones”, that is, without these species the ecosystem would be radically altered or even collapse. The   keystones maintain balance and support biodiversity. Identification is a first step to the conservation and protection of these species.

When: Wednesday, May 1st | 11:30am onward
Where: Shop in the Garden, UBC Botanical Garden, 6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver BC

Cost: Free! No registration required

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Planner, Karin England, will be joined by Horticulturist and owner at Fluent Garden, Christina Chung, for a discussion about food forests and her new book 'The Layered Edible Garden'. To access the live stream, go to Metro Vancouver's Facebook page at 12:15pm. Follow Metro Vancouver on Facebook to receive notifications for this and future live events. 

When: Thursday, May 2nd | 12:15pm onward

Where: Online - Metro Vancouver's Facebook Page

Cost: Free

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Curious about how biodiversity connects us all? Join us for an inspiring, informative and action oriented event showcasing student-led  biodiversity research collaborations and explore innovative recommendations to advance UBC's sustainable and wellbeing policies, plans and practices.

This year's Student-Led Research Showcase is all about making connections. Join us to learn about a variety of biodiversity projects on the UBC-Vancouver Campus. Presentations will explore nature-based solutions to adapt and mitigate to extreme weather, deepen our understanding of natural assets across our campus, and identify strategies to enhance the foundational connections that sustain urban campus biodiversity.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

When: Thursday, May 2nd | 2:30pm to 4:00pm
Where: UBC, Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS), BC Hydro Theatre

Cost: Free

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Interested in learning how to identify and support birds in your backyard? Want to know more about bird biodiversity in our region?

Join us for an introductory bird walk at UBC Botanical Garden. We will identify familiar birds, look for spring migrating species and listen for the birds’ melodious songs. Participants will also learn about bird strike mitigation research at UBC and how to prevent bird strikes!

This event is suited for beginner birders and will help you to identify common birds of the Lower Mainland, based on their behaviour, size, shape and sounds. The Merlin App on cell phones will be demonstrated to identify the bird songs and calls. The walk will include:

  • Tips for how to identify bird groups
  • Different habitats preferred by specific bird species
  • Considerations for making bird-friendly habitat in gardens and around your home
  • Actions to preserve and protect bird biodiversity to help them thrive


When: Sunday, May 5th from 9:00am to 11:30am
Where: UBC Botanical Garden, 6408 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver BC
Cost: $11 plus tax for Adults, $9 plus tax for Concession (Garden Members, UNA Residents, Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+), UBC Students|Staff|Faculty. Valid ID card required.)
Guides: Bev and Bill Ramey, expert birders

Register Now

The Greater Vancouver Bird Celebration offers over 30 free and low cost events across the lower mainland promoting bird conservation for beginner and advanced birders alike. Check out the event calendar for walks, talks, webinars, children's programs, and hands on workshops about birds of all kinds. 

The Greater Vancouver area is an important resting point for the billion birds that follow the Pacific Flyway on their annual migrations. Over 268 species or resident, migratory, and over-wintering birds can be observed throughout the year. 

When: Friday, May 10th to Sunday, May 26th

Where: All Across Greater Vancouver!

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Science Rendezvous UBC returns IN-PERSON on May 11, 2024! Please check our web page to see the exciting line up of hands-on activities, demos, and tours, happening from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. across various venues. All events are FREE although registration is required for some Chemistry demonstrations to prevent overcrowding.

Festival-goers of all ages will get a chance to meet world-class researchers and innovators, participate in hands-on experiments, and see amazing scientific demonstrations on UBC’s Vancouver campus.

When: Saturday, May 11th 2024 | 10:00am to 4:00pm
Where: Nitobe Memorial Garden, 1895 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Cost: Free!

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Join us for a biodiversity adventure and connect with plants, pollinators and trees through a self-guided nature experience in the beautiful UBC Botanical Garden! Fun for the whole family!

This children-oriented event will take your family ~2 hours and includes a self-guided journey through UBC Botanical Garden and the GreenHeart Treewalk to find the pop-up education stations in the Garden. Activities at the stations will include exploring the forest gardens, discovering food plants, taking time to watch for birds and pollinators and learning about the cycles that sustain our ecosystem.

When: Saturday, May 18th 2024

Location: UBC Botanical Garden, 6408 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver BC


  • Children's tickets (3-12 years) are $20 plus tax per child. This includes admission to both the Garden and TreeWalk, and a Kids Nature Kit*.
  • Adult tickets are $23 plus tax per adult, with discounted rates for seniors (65+), UBC Card Holders and Non-UBC Students. This includes admission to both the Garden and TreeWalk.
  • Youth tickets (13-17 years) are $17 plus tax per youth. This includes admission to the Garden and TreeWalk.

*Each children's ticket includes one Kids Nature Kit, which are an exciting, family-favourite element of this event. When families arrive at the Garden, Kids Nature Kits are distributed and include a cotton tote bag, a hand-lens to see nature up close, a children's book that celebrates the diversity of species across the Pacific Northwest, a map to guide them on their garden adventure, and more! The value of these kits is around $40.

For additional information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Learn about all of the amazing native bees that help pollinate the plants at UBC Botanical Garden. This walk will provide an overview of native bee diversity as well as the opportunity to try your hand at capturing and identifying native bee species.

When: Sunday, May 19rd | 10:00am to 11:30am
Where: UBC Botanical Garden, UBC Botanical Garden, 6408 SW Marine Dr, Vancouver BC
Cost: $11 plus tax for Adults, $9 plus tax for Concession (Garden Members, UNA Residents, Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+), UBC Students|Staff|Faculty. Valid ID card required.), $5.50 plus tax for Children (aged 5-12)

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Join us for an evening at UBC Botanical Garden and Nitobe Memorial Garden for an evening tour to celebrate the UN Day of Cultural Diversity!

Our knowledgeable guides will lead you though the Garden, sharing fascinating insights about the plants and the stories they hold - in both English and an alternative language! We have French, Japanese, German, Spanish and Mandarin tours to choose from at both Nitobe Memorial Garden and UBC Botanical Garden. These multilingual tours are designed for fluent speakers and new learners.

When: Tuesday, May 21st 2024

Where: UBC Botanical Garden (6804 SW Marine Drive) and Nitobe Memorial Garden (1895 Lower Mall)

Time: 7:00pm and 7:30pm tours available, see the schedule below

Tours at UBC Botanical Garden

  • 7:00pm to 8:00pm - German
  • 7:00pm to 8:00pm - Spanish
  • 7:30pm to 8:30pm - Mandarin

Tours at Nitobe Memorial Garden

  • 7:00pm to 8:00pm - French
  • 7:30pm to 8:30pm - Japanese

Cost: $11 plus tax for Adults, $9 plus tax for Concession (Garden Members, UNA Residents, Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+), UBC Students|Staff|Faculty. Valid ID card required.), $5.50 plus tax for Children (aged 5-12)

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Check out an exhibition detailing the growing cycle for millet, a climate-resilient food crop, from the Growing Millet Together global network. Sample a millet-based snack (while supplies last), share some food memories, and learn a recipe contributed by one of our network partners.

Come by the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at 2212 Main Mall between 12:30 and 2:00 pm on Wednesday, May 22nd for art, music, and millet. Event entry by donation in honour of the International Day for Biological Diversity presented in partnership with the UBC Botanical Garden, no registration required. If you are not able to make the event or visit the Beaty in person, you can also check out their online exhibit!


  • Videos, images, and stories from the Growing Millet Together Network, including remarks from founding member, UBC PhD Student, Saori Ogura
  • Food for Thought photography exhibition by artist Robert Dash
  • Millet food samples prepared by volunteers (while supplies last)
  • Live music to enjoy 

When: Wednesday, May 22nd | 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Where: Beaty Biodiversity Museum, 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Cost: Entry by donation, no registration required

Check it Out!

Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Planner, Karin England, will be joined by Ronda Tuyp and Terrell Roulston from UBC Botanical Garden, for a discussion on the top tips to support climate friendly gardens and local biodiversity.

When: Thursday, May 23rd | 12:15pm onward
Where: Online - Metro Vancouver's Facebook Page

Cost: Free

Learn More

Community science applications like iNaturalist have helped us understand where important plants and wildlife have been observed in our landscapes.

In this webinar, local government, First Nations and scientists will discuss how community science data and tools can help with stewardship of our lands.

After the panelists speak, we are keen to hear from participants about how you are using community science for conservation.

When: Thursday, May 23rd | 10:00am to 12:00pm
Cost: Free

Register Now

Come learn about our nocturnal neighbours – bats! This walk will provide an introduction to bat biology and behaviour, the different bat species that live in and around Vancouver, and their importance to ecosystems and people. We will visit a nearby bat roost to observe bats emerge for the night, and will use ultrasonic microphones to listen for bat calls. We will not be handling any bats, just visually observing them and listening to their ultrasonic calls.

When: Wednesday, May 29th | 9:00pm to 10:30pm
Where: W. Robert Wyman Plaza on UBC Campus (Main Mall and Memorial Road next to the Frederic Laserre and Old Administration Buildings)
Cost: $11 plus tax for Adults, $9 plus tax for Concession (Garden Members, UNA Residents, Youth (13-17), Seniors (65+), UBC Students|Staff|Faculty. Valid ID card required.), $5.50 plus tax for Children (aged 5-12)

Register Now



Why Biodiversity Days?

UBC Vancouver is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam People. The land has always been a place of learning for Indigenous People, who for millennia have passed on their culture, history and traditions from one generation to the next on this site. 

Biodiversity is integral to past, present and future communities, yet we are losing ecosystems, species and genes faster than we can account for them.  The extinction crisis requires inclusive solutions to prevent ecological collapse.

Biodiversity Days is an annual event that aims to: 

  • Raise awareness of biodiversity and its importance to human and ecological health: 
  • Mobilize local and global action to stop the loss of biodiversity; and,
  • Build a generation of stewards, scientists and citizens that actively protect and restore biodiversity.

Biodiversity Days Organizers: Biodiversity Days is a month-long celebration every May that honours the International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22). Local celebrations highlight the many species, genes and ecosystems that sustain our communities. Hosted by UBC Botanical Garden in collaboration with SEEDS Sustainability Program, this year’s program features a diversity of events, including family nature walks, a student Research to Action Showcase, bird tours, community science action, virtual events and more.

Biodiversity Days is made possible with funding provided through the UBC Botanical Garden Community Outreach Fund and with funds from the SEEDS Sustainability Program.



Questions? Contact us at: