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Member Spotlight: Gary Seib

by Elaine Ehman

Gary Seib has been a member of Nature Regina since 1972 and he credits Lorne Scott, who also joined that year, as the incentive behind his involvement. At the time, Gary and Lorne were both living at the same boarding house – Gary was working for a film company and Lorne was working at the then Saskatchewan Museum of Natural History (now the Royal Saskatchewan Museum). Lorne would invite Gary out to events with the museum – setting up nests for bees and other adventures.  As Gary said, “It changed my life.”  

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Gary was president twice in the last 30 years; the first time from 1972 to 1973, and the second time at the bidding of Dale Hjertaas from 2016 to 2018. The second stint was intended as an interim measure until someone new could be found to take the lead. I followed Gary as president and as someone new to the organization, I relied heavily on him for advice, particularly in my first term. Gary gave me a copy of “Nature in Trust” to introduce me to Nature Regina, was always very generous with his time and provided a supportive role as a mentor. Others have described Gary’s quiet leadership and his creative talent at photography.   

When asked what kept him involved in Nature Regina, Gary’s response was “the people”. There have been so many talented people from so many walks of life – people like Joseph Roberts from the University of Regina, Lorne Scott from the RSM, Justice Lloyd Hipperson, and so many authors, Margaret Belcher, Elizabeth “Liz Roley” Cruickshank, Margaret Flock, Trevor Herriot, Wayne Pepper, and more. Gary was able to cite over 20 books spanning several decades, important contributions all produced by members of Nature Regina. He described the various members as such an interesting array of people, all these connections showing up with an interest to make change.  


As for other organizational involvement, Gary stressed the close relationship with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum (RSM). Every time the RSM was asked for help they were right there: holding joint events such as the Audubon series that filled the museum; members of the RSM speaking on various issues and research; and, of course, the native plant garden going on 29 years. The programming done with children through schools and churches was far reaching. Gary recalled the active children’s programs from the past, particularly those led by Lorne Scott at the RSM. The “Get Outside!” programs have returned youth involvement to Nature Regina and Gary sees that as the future of the Society. 

After George Leddingham stepped down, Gary became a member of the Grasslands Park committee and was honoured for his work. He recalled the long and arduous journey for the grasslands area to achieve the designation of national park, with Nature Regina and Nature Saskatchewan at the forefront of the project. He stressed the importance of protecting the grasslands as we move forward. Gary was the president and general manager of Nature Saskatchewan for 5 years in the 1970s and has been on the board of Nature Canada. 


Asked what bird he’d nominate for Regina’s city bird, Gary’s choice was “probably the goose”, because of what it’s done, it’s come from nothing. He recalled that as a child seeing geese was a really rare thing. It’s so important now that we protect the species.  


One of the things that Gary remembered was the early picnics they had at Hidden Valley – having lunch and then going for a walk. Like the geese, he feels that it’s so important to protect what we have and to share it for the enjoyment and education of others.  

“Little by little we’re making it better, bit by bit.” 

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