Zoe-Blue Coates (she/her), Birder and Resilient Communities Enthusiast

February 22, 2024

If you’ve been by the Compost Education Centre, you’ve probably been warmly welcomed – and educated – by Zoe-Blue Coates. Zoe-Blue is our officer manager, communications coordinator, and general doer. If you have a question about anything regarding the Compost Education Centre, she’s probably the person to ask! And if you catch her at a quiet moment, she’ll relay to you her latest efforts at a more sustainable and resilient life whether it’s solar dehydrating mushrooms (grown at the Compost Education Centre demonstration site!) or showing up for her community in an intentional and grounded way.

When she’s not dispensing composting wisdom at work, she frequently leads nature walks for the Special Bird Service Society, a group focused on making nature more accessible for the global majority through birding. Across her work and play, Zoe-Blue aims to inspire other to form reciprocal relationships with the land through caring for the natural world that is closest to them regardless of whether it is in a rural or urban environment.

The Narwhal recently featured Zoe-Blue in its article, “Many birds are named for enslavers, colonizers and white supremacists. That’s about to change.” The article shares how Zoe-Blue has always been a birder, but through a “Bird Language Interpretation” workshop offered through the Compost Ed Centre, she started paying attention to bird sounds and found it to be an accessible and grounding exercise. (If you’re interested in taking this same course, we are offering it on March 9, 2024 at 10 am!) Zoe-Blue shares her take on renaming birds, which is that by changing names we can clarify the connection between birds and people, plants, and other beings. And by clarifying the connection? We could be lucky enough to have a deeper relationship with the birds and a richer commitment to conservation.

Interested in learning more? Zoe-Blue is teaching a workshop at the Compost Education Centre’s Strawbale classroom on April 27, 2024 at 1 PM about “How Birds Help: Gardening with Reciprocity.” In the workshop, she’ll cover what birds are commonly found in Southern Vancouver Island backyards; how birds help us control pests, rodents, and pollinate our plants; and how we can form a reciprocal relationship with our winged neighbors. We look forward to connecting with you!

Claire Remington, Executive Director

Posted in Uncategorized