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deVries Natural Heritage Collection

The County Museums have been working in partnership with the de Vries Natural Heritage Collection Committee to establish a new home for nearly 500 natural history specimens at Ameliasburgh Heritage Village. These specimens were crafted over a 50-year period by the late Jake de Vries, a resident of Prince Edward County. Now there is an opportunity to receive funding through the Aviva Community Fund to support this importanta collection, an opportunity that depends on community support!

The collection ranges from waterfowl to song birds to mammals, large and small, and fish. A site visit with an Ornithologist from the Royal Ontario Museum determined that this collection is one of the finest private collections of taxidermy in the province. As such, the collection requires an adequately-sized facility with proper environmental conditions to ensure long-term preservation

devries-1The de Vries family is now ready to move the collection, pleased that it could be held in public trust with the museum system. Johanna and Jake de Vries always opened their doors to schoolchildren and other interested groups who wanted to view and learn from the collection. The Ameliasburgh  Heritage Village has identified it’s “Green Barn” as an ideal home for the collection. The building has ample space, but requires significant structural upgrades to be suitable for the collection, in addition to appropriate exhibition materials. The fundraising goal for the project is $275,000. Of that, we are requesting $90,000 from the Aviva Community Fund. The scope of the proposed renovation costs includes:

  • wall repairs to wood siding
  • insulation of exterior walls
  • new interor prefinished metal liner panel
  • strap underside of roof trusses
  • new attic space, insulated and with vapour barrier
  • attic space ventilation
  • a new metal roof system, gutters, downspouts and all gable and eave flashings
  • a new interior partition to separate public viewing rea from storage area
  • new lighting and receptacles
  • An HVAC system for humidity and temperature control
  • construction and/or purchase of various display cabinets and materials

devries-barnThis collection tells incredible stories about our natural world, its biodiversity, and both the carelessness and conservation efforts of humankind. It also honours the craftsmanship of Jake de Vries and his lifelong passion for preserving natural heritage for both public education and aesthetic appreciation. Creating a permanent home and exhibition for this impressive collection will ensure that an unparalleled educational resource will remain in Prince Edward County.

Voting is “live” now – October 11 – 28


Contact Jennifer Lyons, Head Curator – Museums T 613-476-2148 ext 2521 email jlyons@pecounty.on.ca for more information.




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