One day David Stanley and Ria De Vos will be able to walk through a piece of land on Nanaimo River they helped preserve, thanks to an $80,000 donation to Nanaimo and Area Land Trust.
It’s De Vos and Stanley’s second donation to the organization, about double what they gave previously.
The land trust’s executive director, Gail Adrienne, said she was stunned when the couple called with news of their intended donation.
“We really didn’t expect to see more from them,” Adrienne said.
The couple and the land trust decided to divide the money and put $50,000 toward the group’s operating expenditures and the remaining into a reserved account to kick start an acquisition campaign for property along the Nanaimo River.
“My wife and I wanted to give our money locally to a charity we know,” Stanley said. “We want to see some results.”
Stanley, whose first donation helped the acquisition of Mount Benson property in 2007, said the land trust does good work and wants to see it continue to preserve and protect the environment.
The money went to the land trust in the form of Enbridge shares, an oil and gas transportation company currently trying to secure the Northern Gateway pipeline to carry Alberta petroleum through B.C. to port in Kitimat. The shares were sold and the money deposited.
“We’re glad that Enbridge is doing something good for the environment,” Adrienne said.
Thanks to tax law from 2006, people can transfer shares, stocks, bonds or real estate to a Canadian charity to be eligible for a tax receipt, to be applied to the donor’s income tax deductions.
Stanley said he bought the shares more than 20 years ago and they increased substantially in value. By donating to the land trust, he avoids costly capital gains taxes.
“It’s much more efficient to give the shares to NALT,” he said.
The money secures stability for the land trust through 2013 and gives a boost to the long-term strategy to preserve the Nanaimo River watershed.
The land trust hosted a symposium last year to get direction and plot a strategy to preserve the area, some of which is up for sale through several logging companies. Adrienne said the group will report to the community on Sept. 27 – the week of Rivers Day – and set up an executive group from the roundtable of stakeholders, which includes representatives from the city, regional district, community groups and business.
The land trust is still securing regular contributions from supporters. To donate, or for more information about land trust projects, please visit www.nalt.bc.ca.