Myrna Pearman retires after 33 years at Ellis Bird Farm

Pearman, a 33-year veteran to the Ellis Bird Farm north of Joffree in Lacombe County, is retiring. ECA Review/Submitted
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Pearman, a 33-year veteran to the Ellis Bird Farm north of Joffre in Lacombe County, is retiring. ECA Review/Submitted

Myrna Pearman has retired after 33 years at Ellis Bird Farm (EBF).

On Oct. 30, 2020, the EBF board of directors honoured Pearman for her many contributions and achievements to make Charlie and Winnie Ellis’s farm into the beautiful nature sanctuary it is today.

In her words, it was “more than just a job, it was her life’s work”.

Over the years, Pearman has overseen the restoration and development of Winnie’s flower gardens; preserved and created a walking trail in the West Woods; worked to develop wetland habitat; maintained a blue bird trail; established a purple martin colony and the largest collection of blue bird houses in the world.

She also  continued the research and collection of an amazing amount of data on blue birds, purple martins and bats and was instrumental in EBF having the first Motus tower in Alberta for tracking the migration of birds.

Under Pearman’s leadership, the Ellis Bird Farm site was established.

Charlie and Winnie’s home became a Café. a barn and granary (the oldest in Alberta) were preserved.

Buildings are filled with displays and exhibits about nature.

Walking paths a water garden and Wetland Centre and pier, the indigenous circle deck, benches and picnic site, children’s nature play area, viewing tower, bridge and gazebo.

To expose more children to the natural world, curriculum-based school programs were developed.

Each spring as many as 2,000 students participate in a number of classes and events meant to give the children an appreciation of wildlife.

Pearman is widely known for her beautiful nature photography.

She is also a prolific writer.  Her most recent book, Charlie, Winnie and the Bluebirds, is all about the history and development of Ellis Bird Farm.

In recognition of all the conservation and research Pearman has done over the years, particularly regarding the bluebirds, she has received numerous awards.

In 2020, she became a Fellow in the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.



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