John Scull came to the Cowichan Valley in the early 70’s and has been working ever since to make it a better place for all of its inhabitants.
John helped resurrect the Naturalists Club in 1983 along with Syd Watts, Sheila Sanders and Keith Muir. He managed our publicity for many years and continues to serve on the board. With his partner Linda he started the Young Naturalists (now Nature Kids) in 2001 and continues to advise them to the present day. With Bill Austin he initiated the annual May Low-Tide Day in Cowichan Bay in 1999. Last year, during the 20th anniversary, John showed up with the other “Muddy Buddies” to play his ukulele. They often play at the annual winter solstice celebration and other special events.
He was a founding member of the Cowichan Community Land Trust which began as a CVNS committee some 30 years ago. John also helped develop the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre where he was a regular volunteer with his grand-daughter Nakita. He began monthly water-bird counts at the Nature Centre in 2011 as a way of involving the public in being citizen scientists. In 2007, John set up and continues to maintain the Nature Cowichan Website, which gathers Somenos Marsh, the Land Trust, the Naturalists, Young Naturalists (now Nature Kids) and the Estuary Center under one umbrella. As Facebook and other social media evolved John kept pace.
John and Linda’s efforts to create a better world can be seen at all levels. As individuals they have solar panels and a clothes-line, an electric car and bicycles. In the community, his participation in Mental Health, education of children with learning disabilities, the Arcadian Day Care, Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University), Providence Farm and Social Planning Cowichan augmented activity on behalf of all the non-human inhabitants. On the larger scale John has advocated the Earth Charter and Project Drawdown among many other things.
Whether leading nature walks or recognizing a need and just quietly setting up a group to address it, we are grateful to John, not only for what he has done, but for what he has inspired in others. In his own words:
“The messages from Drawdown and COVID – 19 are the same: If we all work together and care for each other, there is no limit to what human ingenuity can accomplish. I hope you all will carry on working and playing together to build a world that works for all living beings: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on this planet”