Charitable Choices: Zunaid Khan of Toronto Field Naturalists

In a recent interview, the President of the Toronto Field Naturalists (TFN) shared insights into the organization’s mission and impact. Founded in 1923, TFN is dedicated to conserving and restoring Toronto’s green spaces through public education, citizen science, and community engagement. The President, who joined in 2018, emphasized the organization’s growth and the importance of connecting diverse communities with nature. TFN continues to thrive post-pandemic by partnering with various groups to protect local ecosystems. Readers can support TFN by volunteering, becoming members, or donating.

Toronto Field Naturalists

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

The Toronto Field Naturalists (TFN) is a volunteer-run nature conservation non-profit founded in 1923 and a member of the Ontario Nature Network of naturalist organizations. We share the desire to deepen our understanding of, and appreciation for, the natural spaces and species needed for health and well-being. We do this through our website, public lecture series, newsletter, stewardship & citizen science initiatives, guided nature walks, and by empowering people to Take Action in ways consistent with our mission.

What problem does it aim to solve?

We seek to conserve, protect and restore Toronto’s green spaces. Our mission is to connect people with nature in the Toronto area, helping people understand, enjoy, protect and restore Toronto’s green spaces and the species that inhabit them.

When did you start/join it?

The idea for TFN was conceived in June 1923 and officially in October of that year. We have been celebrating our 100th anniversary since June 2023 and will end our celebrations at the end of this month.

I became a member in 2018 and joined the board in 2019.

What made you want to get involved?

I became a member to learn more about nature in Toronto as part of my journey as a nature photographer. As I was spending more time in nature and started to see the human impact on nature through my camera lens, I decided to volunteer with the organization in any way that would be helpful.

What was the situation like when you started?

TFN is an organization with a long history, a strong membership base and a reputation in the nature community. I felt it needed to try to expand the audience that it was focused on reaching out to.

How has it changed since?

It has been growing steadily since the pandemic as more people have recognized the benefits of spending time in nature. The board has been successful in evolving the organization to better serve members & nature and engage more diverse communities through partnering with other nature organizations & community groups.

Toronto Field Naturalists

What more needs to be done?

Continue to engage more diverse communities. Continue to partner with other nature organizations and community groups to protect and restore our green spaces.

How can our readers help?

Help us help nature either by volunteering with us, becoming a member or donating.

For volunteer opportunities contact

Benefits of membership here.

Donate here.

Do you have any events coming up?

We have public walks in July, details here.

Where can we follow you?


PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

Green Ummah


About Emilea Semancik 107 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to freelance her own pieces and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. She is also a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of recipe books. You can find her recipes on Instagram. @ancestral.foods