Interested in joining our amazing team? Take a look – We’re hiring!

CENC Executive Director Job Description

At the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, we nurture estuary stewardship through inspiring experiences.

The Nature Centre engages people of all ages in hands-on learning and watershed restoration opportunities to connect with and care for the Cowichan Estuary, and the Cowichan and Koksilah watersheds that meet at the estuary, in ways where they can fall in love with this special ecosystem and feel interconnected with the natural world. The CENC believes that these experiences motivate people to share their love and knowledge, and to act to care for and protect natural ecosystems here and throughout the Cowichan Valley.

The CENC Executive Director furthers this mission by providing leadership while working in collaboration with the CENC Board and staff. The ED leads the staff team and is responsible for all matters relating to the year-round operation of the Nature Centre.

Job Responsibilities

Fundraising and Community Engagement

  • Work in collaboration with the board of directors to develop revenue, earned and philanthropic, that support’s CENC’s operations.
  • Lead and support the Board in its fundraising endeavors.
  • Research new funding opportunities.
  • Write grant applications and grant reports to funders.
  • Review and contribute content to CENC’s website, newsletters, print and online advertising and social media, brochures, press releases and other materials.
  • Work in collaboration with staff and the Board to ensure that CENC is represented at relevant events to engage the community and raise the Nature Centre’s profile.

Planning & Leadership

  • Work collaboratively with the board of directors to implement the strategic plan.
  • Ensure CENCS constitution, bylaws, and policies are provided to and understood by CENCS board, staff, and volunteers.
  • Support the Board Chair and collaborate to ensure board meetings are effective.
  • Lead the Board and staff team in ensuring CENC programs are designed, delivered, and evaluated to continue to meet the needs of participants and remain consistent with the CENC’s purposes, mission, vision, and code of conduct, and support the staff team in ensuring programs are delivered in a safe and quality manner.

Finances & Operations

  • Create and manage the annual budget for approval by the Board.
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Nature Centre.
  • Direct, supervise and work collaboratively with staff.
  • Work with the CENCS Treasurer and bookkeeper to ensure accurate and timely bookkeeping, accounting.
  • Ensure the board receives current financial statements throughout the year.
  • Ensure the Annual Financial Report is prepared, reviewed, and approved by the Board prior to presentation at the CENCS AGM.
  • Ensure required statutory reporting is completed and CENC records are complete and appropriately stored.
  • Recruit, interview, hire and orient new staff.
  • Develop and keep up-to-date job descriptions, employment agreements and contracts.
  • Ensure completion of regular staff performance reviews.


  • An undergraduate degree or diploma in Public/Business Administration or related field.
  • Minimum three years of directly related experience.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with other staff, the Board of Directors, volunteers, general public, and other user groups.
  • Experience creating and managing a budget.
  • Direct fundraising experience.
  • Demonstrated strong and up to date computer/data entry skills, including Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook}.
  • Effective organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects congruently.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work with minimal or no supervision and exercise independent judgment and a high degree of confidentiality.
  • Good working knowledge of the local community.

This role allows for a flexible working arrangement, and the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre encourages employees to create schedules that suit both their preferences and the organization’s requirements. This is a hybrid, part-time (20 to 30 hours a week) contract position with the opportunity to grow it into a permanent position. The salary range is $40 – $45/hour with three weeks’ vacation per calendar year. Please send resume to: BoardExecutive@cowichanestuary.ca


School Programs & Summer Science and Nature Camps Available – Book now!

Summer Camp Registration Now OpenWe’ll soon be in the midst of another wonderful Nature and Science Summer Camp Season with an amazing group of five to nine-year-old participants exploring the wonders of the Cowichan Estuary with us! Registrations are now open for our July and August 2024 Summer Camps!  contact camps@cowichanestuary.ca for more info.


School Programs – If you are a teacher or homeschooler, you can also get in touch about our hands-on science and nature-inspired school programs for all grades and ages – kindergarten through high school – at the Nature Centre, on the beach and exploring and learning at natural sites throughout the lower Cowichan and Koksilah watersheds. Contact admin@cowichanestuary.ca to book a program for your class.


Come visit us

Sat/Sun & Statutory Holidays 1-3pm

As a volunteer-run Nature Centre we take the health and well-being of our volunteers and guests to heart. We do our best offer a safe place for our volunteers and visitors. While we are no longer requiring masks in the Centre, and we have masks available for visitors for your comfort and safety and run a HEPA filter to clean the air. Come visit us and explore nature and science indoors during our weekend and holiday open hours, and come by to explore the beach, our nature interpretive trail along the estuary’s shoreline, and our wildlife viewing platform outdoors anytime.

About the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre

Located overlooking the Cowichan Estuary in beautiful Hecate Park at the west end of Cowichan Bay Village, the Nature Centre offers opportunities for visitors of all ages to learn about the estuary, the bay, and the watershed through informative interactive exhibits and fun hands-on activities. Find out more about the Nature Centre and the Cowichan estuary, its watersheds and the creatures who call it home here.

School programs at the Centre, as well as interpretive programs for other groups can be booked at any available time.  We also offer weekly summer nature and science camps in July and August and throughout the year host films, special events, and offer facility rentals.

Volunteering…                                                                                                                                                                                              Are you interested in volunteering with us?  If you love nature and the intertidal area of the estuary, the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre offers meaningful volunteer opportunities for adults and youth as nature interpreters during Nature Centre open hours for the public, or as education program assistants. We’d love to be able to be open for more hours on the weekends. Volunteers also can participate in citizen science projects like monthly bird counts, or hands-on ecosystem restoration projects, and help with maintaining displays and equipment, building maintenance, fundraising and many other activities. Volunteers are key to the Centre’s ability to make a positive impact locally, and we also have fun together. More info here.

 Get in touch! We’re looking to expand our weekend shifts and our team of friendly volunteers welcoming Centre visitors as soon as the weather warms up this Spring!
You don’t have to be an expert – mentoring and support is provided by experienced volunteer naturalists and educators.
Call 250-597-2288 or email info@cowichanestuary.ca

Check out the Great Blue Herons in Wessex Ravine

Our Heron Cam is Live!

With 200+ Pacific Great Blue Herons spending nesting season and now raising their young ones in Wessex Ravine Heron Colony it’s a lively and often noisy place. Visit our Live Heron Cam and zoom around the heronry and have a look.


Please follow us on Facebook Instagram and Twitter where we’re sharing nature stories and activities. 

Curious about the

Cowichan Estuary Restoration Project?

A project of The Nature Trust of BC and Cowichan Tribes. Visit their website at estuaryresilience.ca

Click:  UN salutes BC group for coastal estuary protection efforts


We would like to Thank RBS Managed Services for their generous donation for the purchase of two versions of ‘The Watershed Game’. This game will be integrated into our current and future education programs as well as within our community. Huy ch q’u!