About Us

  • 1865 John (Jack) Miner was born April 10, 1865 in Dover Center, now Westlake, Ohio, USA.
  • 1870s Deemed "not suited for school", Jack attended only 3 months and spent most of his spare time in the creeks and woods studying habits of wildlife and waterfowl. The outdoors became his classroom.
  • 1878 Jack moved with family to Gosfield South Township, near Kingsville, Ontario, Canada at age 13.
  • 1880s He became a professional trapper and market hunter to help supplement the family income in the brick and tile manufacturing business.
  • 1900 Forms one of the first Game Protective associations.
  • 1904 Founded the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Sanctuary for the conservation of migrating Canada geese and wild ducks, founder of the waterfowl refuge management system.
  • 1906 Dubbed "The Father of Conservation" by the Minneapolis Journal.
  • 1908 First eleven migrating Canada Geese land, after a 4 year effort.
  • 1909 Pioneered the tagging of migratory waterfowl by banding his first wild duck.
  • 1910 First complete banding record in January when Dr. W. Bray of Anderson, South Carolina returned the band. Started 30 year lecture career speaking on wildlife conservation and the need for the establishment of sanctuaries and wildlife refuges.
  • 1915 Banded his first Canada goose to trace migration habits. All duck and goose bands now included a verse of Biblical scripture making the birds "missionaries of the air".
  • 1916 Early data from tagging recoveries were instrumental in the Migratory Bird Treaty between the U.S.A. and Canada. This Act placed the first restrictions on hunting, giving consideration to waterfowl populations for the future.
  • 1923 First book, entitled "Jack Miner and the Birds" is published.
  • 1927 Guest speaker, April 9th at Izaak Walton League's Annual Banquet in Chicago with U.S. President, Herbert Hoover, guest of honour. One of 19 charter members of Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) conceived at that banquet of 1100 guests.
  • 1929 Awarded Outdoor Life Gold Medal "for The Greatest Achievement in Wildlife Conservation on the Continent". This was the first time the award was presented to a Canadian.
  • 1931 The Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation, Inc. created under U.S. philanthropic laws.
  • 1936 The above foundation incorporated in Canada by a special act of the Ontario legislature. Chosen by Prime Minister Mackenzie King to deliver the "around the world radio address" for King George's 25th anniversary as  Monarch. Received letters from 65 countries on his address.
  • 1943 Presented with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by King George VI "for the greatest achievement in conservation in the British Empire".
  • 1944 November 3rd, Jack Miner's passing. Has banded over 50,000 wild ducks and 40,000 migratory Canada geese. Several U.S. newspapers rated him fifth best known man on the continent after Ford, Edison, Lindbergh and Rickenbacker.
  • 1947 In commemoration of the achievements and contributions of Jack Miner, the Act to create Canada's National Wildlife Week passed unanimously to be observed the week of Jack Miner's birth. Named "one of the fifteen great personages of the world" by the Book of Knowledge.
  • 1956 Thirty-three official delegates from the United Nations arrange a special flight from New York to the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation to pay tribute to the late conservationist whose fame had spread to their homelands in the far east.
  • 1969 Jack Miner's autobiography, entitled "Wild Goose Jack" first published.
  • 1977 Right Hon. Pierre E. Trudeau in issuing a proclamation for National Wildlife Week said: "Jack Miner, with his vision and determination is largely responsible for those conservation measures in existence today".
  • 1993 The Windsor Star wrote: "The week of April 10th was designated as National Wildlife Week to permanently remind Canadians of a pioneer who changed the attitudes of a continent, against great odds".
  • 2003 The Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation donates the original Jack Miner house to the Southwestern Ontario Heritage Village for restoration.
  • 2004 100 Year Anniversary of the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation.
  • 2009 Jack Miner Birthplace Marker (1975) rededicated in Westlake, Ohio.
  • 2010 Jack Miner inducted into 'The Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame' in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • 2012 The New Jack Miner pond development completed and the Jack Miner house opened to the public.
  • 2013 The viewing platform/gazebo dedicated in October.
  • 2014 A 5 km trail system created on the south side of the property in the Jack Miner woods.

Click image to Inlarge

Click image to Inlarge

Upon the death of Jack Miner in 1944, Canada had the desire to create a perpetual memorial to honour him for his pioneer work in wildlife conservation. The idea, however, would need to be put on hold pending the conclusion of the Second World War, which ended the following year.

Early in 1946, a government representative, Sen. Joseph Bradette, from Ottawa, approached the Miner family. During discussions with the Miner family, three propositions were suggested:

1. The entire North West Territory be declared a National Park.
2. The area to be renamed ‘The Canadian Jack Miner National Park.’
3. The erection of an observation tower on the sanctuary grounds.

LEFT TO RIGHT:
ARTHUR ALLEN, JOHN R. MACNICOL M.P & JACK MINER

A local businessman/politician by the name of Arthur Allen had already implemented the designation of Jack Miner Day, which was observed locally on the date of Jack Miner’s birth, April 10th. This idea was being considered for adoption on a national scale.

After careful consideration, the Miner family opted for the proposal of a National Wildlife Day to be held each year on Jack Miner’s birthday.

Back in Ottawa, the National Wildlife Day Act was drawn up. The act was presented from the floor of the House of Commons in late 1946, and was about to be passed. The then Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Mackenzie King, put a stop to the passing of the bill – not because he was in disagreement with the Act, but, because he wanted to extend it to encompass the entire week of Jack Miner’s birth. The bill was then renamed the ‘The National Wildlife Week Act’, reworded and tended to by federal lawyers to ensure the primary purpose of the act was that it be recognized as an everlasting memorial to Jack Miner’s conservation efforts. The secondary purpose of the Act was to encourage public interest, via nature study groups, sporting, tourist, education and ecology related organizations in the conservation field. When this Bill was reintroduced in the House of Commons on April 18th, 1947, it was passed without one dissenting vote! This was the first occasion since Canada’s confederation that a Bill was passed unanimously.


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The Foundation Board

  • Bob Alfieri
  • Amanda Everaert
  • Stephe Gard
  • Craig McDonald
  • Justin Nelson
  • Phil Roberts
  • Tyler Sabelli
  • Matt Snoei

The Staff

  • Mary E. Baruth, Executive Director
  • Leslie Pinto, Education & Public Programs Coordinator
  • Joe Vermeulen, Park Superintendent.