Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – The Islands Trust Conservancy has granted $5,400 to Thetis Island Nature Conservancy for a new nature stewards program on Thetis Island.
The Opportunity Fund grant will support Thetis Island Nature Conservancy’s Nature Stewards Program. Since launching the program in late 2021, Thetis Island Nature Conservancy has developed its program with the Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Gabriola Lands and Trails Trust. Grant funds will enable Thetis Island Nature Conservancy to continue to work with these partners to train program volunteers and conduct site visits in collaboration with Traditional Ecological Knowledge holders from Penelakut Tribe and with members of the Structural Protection Unit of the Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department.
“Supporting voluntary programs like the Thetis Island Nature Stewards is so important. To prevent further biodiversity loss on the islands we need community members who care deeply for the land to know the right actions to take,” said Kate-Louise Stamford, outgoing Chair of Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund we are able to support Thetis Island Nature Conservancy in these efforts.”
“We are immensely grateful for the financial support from Islands Trust Conservancy. Our Nature Stewards Program encourages residents to play an active role in habitat restoration, rewilding, and preservation,” said Ann Eriksson, Thetis Island Nature Conservancy Board Director. “In particular, the Opportunity Fund grant will support the sharing of knowledge from Indigenous elders and other knowledge holders.”
More than 90% of land in the Thetis Island Local Trust Area is privately owned or managed – making voluntary actions critical for conservation efforts to succeed. Residents and property holders who are interested in learning more about Thetis Island Nature Conservancy‘s Nature Stewards program are encouraged to visit www.thetisislandnatureconservancy.org/nature-stewards-program
About the Islands Trust Conservancy Opportunity Fund Grant
Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund supports timely opportunities to protect biodiversity in the Islands Trust Area. The Opportunity Fund is intended for ‘hard to fundraise’ costs associated with land protection. It can also be used to leverage increased donations to land acquisition projects or for other programs as directed by the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. Since 2005 more than 200 donors have contributed $200,000+ to the Opportunity Fund, enabling Islands Trust Conservancy to distribute 28 grants that have helped protect more than 530 hectares of land across the islands in the Salish Sea.
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- Currently, only 4% of land in the Thetis Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values.
Islands Trust Conservancy protects natural landscapes across the Islands Trust region. The support of individuals and partners has helped to protect more than 1,378 ha of land within 34 nature reserves and 79 conservation covenants on islands in the Salish Sea.
- More than 67% of land on islands in the Salish Sea is privately owned. This number increases to more than 90 % for Thetis Island Local Trust Area – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing the impacts of climate change in the region.
- British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it also has the largest number of species under threat of extinction.
- Nearly 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area, representing 25% of rare species found in BC. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming extinct and aids in the recovery of those species currently at risk.
About Islands Trust Conservancy
Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 110 properties, covering more than 1,378 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of donors and partners.
For all media inquiries please contact Carmen Smith, Communications Specialist – Islands Trust Conservancy