Charles Labatiuk was born to Bill and Natalia Labatiuk on September 23, 1956 in Wainwright, and later moved to their current home in Sherwood Park. From early days Charles shared his love of nature with his sisters Patricia and Lorraine, brother David and neighborhood friends.
As a youth he led siblings and friends on bike hikes to back fields, exploring ponds and lakes. He rafted the local sloughs and his sister fondly recalls the day that he spotted several whooping cranes, which at the time were considered endangered.
Charles’ birdwatching also sparked his fascination with nature. These adventures and his many experiences connecting with nature at such an early age likely had a great influence in shaping his dedication and commitment to nature, and the man Charles became.
A keen naturalist, and a devoted conservationist, Charles worked to protect and better the environment for all Canadians. During his days at Ducks Unlimited, he was active conserving lands and waters for bird species. During his time at Parks Canada, he took pride in working to conserve the magnificent mountains, prairies, forests and other grand landscapes that make up our great nation. He was successful as a Senior Environmental Engineer for the City of Edmonton. In his vacation time, he thrived on traveling far and wide to discover and photograph the diversity of animals and wildlands he encountered. He truly enjoyed experiencing new cultures and meeting the people of each area he visited.
Charles Labatiuk was a man deeply respected by all those that he touched. A colleague is quoted as describing Charles as a “kind and gentle man, whose quiet enthusiasm for work and life inspired many.” His inexhaustible thirst for learning and life, his passion for nature and the outdoors and his commitment to sharing his life learnings, passion and excitement with others are on their own a great legacy.
It is humbling for all of us here at Nature Canada to know he cared so deeply about nature conservation that he made the thoughtful decision to establish a generous bequest for Nature Canada in his Will – trusting us to protect the wildlife and wild spaces that brought him much joy in his life.
Charles’ Legacy: Building Hope for the Future
Working with Charles’ family, Nature Canada established the Charles Labatiuk Nature Endowment Fund to honour Charles Labatiuk’s lifelong love of birds and nature. Income from this fund supports the important work of understanding Alberta’s bird populations for years to come at the Beaverhill Lake Important Bird Area in Tofield, Alberta.
It will also support the Charles Labatiuk Scholarship for a young naturalist to further their post-secondary conservation studies and will award the Charles Labatiuk Volunteer Award each year for exceptional bird conservation and stewardship efforts nationwide.
To donate to the Charles Labatiuk Nature Endowment Fund or to learn more about endowing a gift, please contact Nature Canada’s Legacy Manager, Jodi Joy at 1-800-267-4088 ext 239 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.