Rene Savenye Scholarship

BC Nature provides $1,500 to a BC Nature member who is a post-secondary student enrolled in an undergraduate degree program that contributes to awareness, appreciation and understanding of our natural environment. We welcome donations specifically for the Rene Savenye Scholarship fund. Use this link and it will take you back to the Home Page, where you can use the Donate through the “support us” button on the left hand side.  Please specify in the notes that you would like the monies set aside for the Rene Savenye Fund.

The 2020 Rene Savenye Scholarship has been awarded to R. Tancock. Congratulations! Special thank you to BC Naturalists Foundation for funding the 2020 Rene Savenye Scholarship.

Click here for the application for the 2021 Rene Savenye scholarship. Completed applications and all attachments for the 2021 scholarships should be emailed to and should reach the BC Nature office by Friday, May 28th, 2021.

History of Rene Savenye

Rene Savenye, Naturalist and Mentor (October 9th. 1938 – July 26th. 2002) – Rene was born in Holland then came to Canada and grew up in New Westminster. He graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science degree and became a teacher at Princess Margaret Secondary School in the City of Surrey. Rene taught for 31 years (without missing a day!). Rene married Anne Johnson in 1962 and they had three sons, Mike, Paul and Ed.  Rene was a family man and enjoyed taking his family on outdoor  excursions.

Rene became a marathoner and competed in several in the 1980s before pursuing his passion: hiking in nature. He became an expert botanist, especially on native plants, fossils and mushrooms, and was well-informed on all matters of natural history. While fossil hunting in the Merritt area, Rene came upon the find of his life: a fossilized bee thought to be  between 52 and 54 million years old. He donated the fossil to Simon Fraser University which later went to the Royal BC Museum.  There is the  possibility the fossil will be named “savenyensis.”

Rene was an enthusiastic contributor to numerous clubs: the North Shore Hikers, Vancouver Natural History Society, Valley Outdoor Club, White Rock and Surrey Naturalists, Surrey Green Timbers Forest advisory committee and the Geological Survey of Canada. Rene mentored a number of organizations at their start-up and was always quick to volunteer to lead a nature walk in the community. He was the consummate teacher, exhibiting uncommon patience and enthusiasm while explaining the marvels of nature.

Rene passed away doing what he loved. He was taken by lightning while hiking and fossil hunting on Mount Fairview near Lake Louise.



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