You can achieve the greatest possible conservation impact with a gift of land. Donating land for conservation first and foremost gives you peace of mind knowing the land you’ve cared for and the plants and animals you’ve shared the land with are protected.
Your generous gift of land will become a nature reserve, protected and cared for by Islands Trust Conservancy.
A donation of land may also provide tax benefits to you or your estate. The Islands Trust Conservancy is a qualified donee, able to issue tax receipts for the appraised value of your donation for income tax purposes.
If you donate property with significant ecological value, you may be eligible for additional capital gains tax exemptions through the Ecological Gifts Program. We recommend you seek independent financial advice to explore the ways a donation of land will benefit your particular circumstances.
How We Care for Your Land
The Islands Trust Conservancy is respected in the conservation community as a leader in property management. Our promise to protect your property in perpetuity includes ensuring the ecological integrity of your protected area is never lost. Islands Trust Conservancy nature reserves are protected forever.
We regularly monitor our properties and carry out management planning, species-at-risk protection, and invasive species removal when needed. We work to ensure your legacy remains vibrant and healthy. Read more about how we care for protected places.
Ways to Create a Nature Reserve
An outright donation of ecologically-significant land is the simplest way you can leave a legacy of a nature reserve.
A fee-simple donation is a straight transfer of ownership to the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. In most cases, you will be eligible for a tax receipt for the appraised value of the donated land.
By using Section 99 of the Land Title Act, we can help you subdivide the natural portion of your property from the remainder of the property you live on, to be donated as a nature reserve, without going through the usual subdivision approval process and associated costs.
Using Section 99, you can decide exactly what part of the land you want to donate, regardless of the minimum lot size set out by zoning. Subdividing for nature allows you to reduce your property taxes while ensuring the newly created lot is protected from development.
By donating a life estate, you can give your property to the Islands Trust Conservancy while retaining the right to live there for the rest of your life.
Once you no longer live on the property, the land will transfer to the Islands Trust Conservancy and it will be protected as a nature reserve.
The tax benefits of a life estate are immediate, but the value of that benefit will be affected by the length of time you will remain on the property.
A bequest is an outright donation of land that is delayed until the end of your life. You can make a bequest of land by specifying in your will that your land be transferred to the Islands Trust Conservancy upon your death.
In most cases, your estate will be eligible for a tax receipt for the appraised value of the land. Before designating the Islands Trust Conservancy Board as the beneficiary of your will, we recommend you speak to staff to make sure the Islands Trust Conservancy is able to protect your land as you envision.
You may wish to see your land protected as a nature reserve, but can’t necessarily afford to donate your property outright.
If your property meets our target biodiversity values and if the Islands Trust Conservancy has the capacity to fundraise to cover the cost, we may be able to purchase your property at a price that is lower than the full market value.
A bargain sale, often called a conservation sale, helps you realize your dream of creating a legacy while giving you cash to meet your needs. If your sale price is less than 80% of the appraised value, you may receive a tax receipt for the difference through the Ecological Gifts Program.
Talk to Us
We’d love to speak with you about your vision for protecting your land and discuss options to help you achieve that vision.
If you are contemplating donating land, we recommend talking to an independent financial planner and legal advisors.
If your advisor is not familiar with an option we describe here, we would be happy to provide them with additional information.
Submit a Conservation Proposal
To begin the process of creating a Nature Reserve, submit a Conservation Proposal. If your conservation proposal is linked to a development application, such as a rezoning or other application being considered by a local trust committee, please use our Development Related Conservation Proposal Form.