By Ted Farnworth
On 15 February 2016, James Fletcher was designated a national historic person of
Canada by Parks Canada. A plaque to honour him was dedicated on November 9,2017
by Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment. Invited guests included
Fletcher Wildlife Garden volunteers, Ottawa Field Naturalists Club members, and
officials and staff from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and the Canadian
Museum of Nature. The plaque had been proposed by Thomas Ritchie in the early
2000’s. His son and family attended the ceremony.
The plaque will be permanently located at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden in the spring of 2018.
Text of plaque honouring James Fletcher:
James Fletcher pioneered both the study of insect depredation on crops and of plant diseases. As first Dominion Entomologist and Botanist, he was instrumental in convincing the government that research into economic entomology and plant pathology was necessary. Through voluminous correspondence, wide-ranging publications, and many speaking tours, he shared knowledge with farmers, fruit growers, and gardeners. He further advanced the natural sciences by helping to establish professional and non-governmental organizations, scientific journals, the National Collection of Vascular Plants, and the Canadian National Collection of Insects.