Please vote and vote often! 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.
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 the long-term preservation of the mounts.
The de Vries family is now ready to move the collection, pleased that it could be held in public trust with the museum system, particularly since 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 its “Green Barn” as 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 such as cases, plinths, hanging systems and interpretive panels. The estimated cost for the project is $275,000. We are requesting $91,000 from the Aviva Community Fund.
This collection tells incredible stories about our natural world, its biodiversity, both the carelessness and conservation efforts of humankind and last, but not least, 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 for the benefit of its residents, visitors and generations to come.