A non-profit on Gabriola Island will use a $6,000 grant on an initiative to protect natural habitat.
According to a press release, Gabriola Land and Trails Trust has received ‘opportunity fund’ money from Islands Trust Conservancy in order to assist “to help them meet an overwhelming demand from islanders wishing to take action to care for nature” for the nature stewards program.
The program, which launched in 2021, seeks to conserve land on Gabriola, noted the press release. While only 12 per cent of Gabriola is protected, the trails trust hopes to see that rise to 30 per cent. “Almost [40 hectares] have been conserved by dozens of private landholders through voluntary pledges to keep the trees and protect habitat on at least 30 per cent of their properties,” the press release said, with the trails trust aspiring to secure 140ha by the end of 2023.
“Home of wildlife-friendly garden” signs are popping up across Gabriola, said the press release.
Ken Gurr, with Gabriola Land and Trails Trust, said the group is grateful for the grant money.
“Many landholders are already champions of nature conservation on their land, from larger acreages to less than half-acre parcels,” Gurr said in the release. “We want to acknowledge everyone for their efforts … We all know this decade is pivotal for so many global issues, and our local efforts will feed into the huge international movement to protect 30 per cent of the planet by 2030.”
Islands Trust Conservancy said it was happy to assist the group and hopes the support contributes to successful efforts.
“Supporting voluntary action and programs like these on the islands is critical to the success of conservation in the Salish Sea,” said Kate-Louise Stamford, conservancy board chairperson, in the press release.
For more information, visit www.galtt-naturestewards.com.