This summer, Canadians are connecting to nature thanks to the work of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. The Conservation Volunteers program gives Canadians countless opportunities to get outside, lend a hand and enjoy our country’s natural spaces.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast.
HARVESTING NATIVE SEEDS
Each year, Conservation Volunteers help collect native seeds. The gathered seeds are then spread on-site or grown in a nursery and planted the following spring.
CONTROLLING INVASIVE SPECIES
Invasive species are one of the top threats to biodiversity worldwide. So it’s no surprise that each year Conservation Volunteers spend many hours tackling these invaders on NCC properties. On James Island, British Columbia, volunteers pull invasive species such as Scotch broom and gorse to improve conditions for rare native plants, moths and nesting birds.
Maintaining or restoring
In some cases, volunteers are needed to help improve or maintain structures on NCC properties. At NCC’s Haugan property in Alberta, volunteers replaced a barbed wire fence with smooth wire and installed visibility clips. These improvements can help pronghorn antelope and sage grouse populations pass through more safely.
PLANTING NATIVE TREES, SHRUBS AND WILDFLOWERS
Whether it’s native grass plugs, wildflowers or even acorns and trees, Conservation Volunteers often assist in planting events from coast to coast. In PEI, volunteers plant marram grass to help stabilize the dunes at St. Peter’s Harbour along the island’s north shore.
Conservation Volunteers are helping to restore important habitats, from tallgrass prairie to wetlands. Volunteers, including employees from SaskEnergy and Farm Credit Canada, planted native shrubs along streams at Echo Creek, Saskatchewan to stabilize the banks and create resiliency in the event of storm events such as flash flooding.
Removing debris, garbage and fences
At many NCC properties across the country, volunteers are needed to help remove debris or garbage left on-site. At NCC’s Covey Hill property in Quebec, volunteers cleared almost three tonnes of debris from ecologically significant habitat.
Across the country, volunteers help NCC improve conditions in natural areas by maintaining hiking trails for visitors or ensuring fencelines are wildlife friendly for species such as pronghorn antelope and sage grouse.
Surveying species that tell stories
Dragonflies and butterflies are known as indicator species. Information on their whereabouts and population size sheds light on the health of an area. Every year people of all ages gather across the country to count these important species. The information gathered contributes to our continental understanding of the health of North America’s butterfly and dragonfly populations.
Monthly donations allow your money to work harder
Making a monthly donation to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is a smart choice for supporters wanting to maximize the impact of their contributions.
“Monthly donations provide NCC with a reliable and steady income stream,” says Aaron Bilyea, director of marketing for the national not-for-profit organization. “Knowing we can expect these funds on a regular basis helps us better plan our long-term conservation initiatives.”
The thousands of Canadians who support NCC as monthly donors also benefit. Many people find that setting up a monthly donation plan makes it easier to budget for the year ahead, and they enjoy the convenience of being able to increase, decrease, suspend or cancel their plan at any time.