Our History

  • 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