Exploring Creative Fundraising Options for Island Nature Trust: Making a Difference with Be Creative for Nature

Welcome to the world of creative fundraising, where your passion for nature meets your knack for innovation. At Island Nature Trust, we’re dedicated to protecting the natural beauty of Prince Edward Island, and we invite you to join us in our mission through Be Creative for Nature. In this article, we’ll explore various fundraising methods – from organizing events to crafting innovative products – inspired by success stories and practical tips.

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Growing A Legacy: The Impact of Seed Tree Sponsors

The Invest in Nature initiative by Island Nature Trust is more than a call to action; it’s a pledge to safeguard Prince Edward Island’s natural landscapes and protect them in perpetuity. In the heart of this conservation effort lies the Seed Tree Sponsorship program, an avenue that allows us to honor and protect the magnificent seed trees of our Island’s forests. These venerable trees, often termed the matriarchs of our woodlands, play an indispensable role in the regeneration of our forests, ensuring the continuity of their unique species.

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Safeguarding the Wabanaki-Acadian Forest

Prince Edward Island, known for its beautiful rolling fields and stunning coastal views, is also home to a unique and invaluable natural treasure – the Wabanaki-Acadian Forest. This intricate network of native forests spans across Kings, Queen, and Prince Counties and plays a crucial role in maintaining the Island’s biodiversity. However, these forests are under constant threat from various factors, including development and climate change.

Help INT purchase ecologically valuable lands across PEI to be protected in perpetuity.

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Nature’s Guardians: Messengers from the Heart of Our Natural Areas

For over four decades, Island Nature Trust (INT) has been dedicated to the protection of Prince Edward Island’s natural landscapes and its at-risk plants and wildlife. In July, the organization achieved a significant milestone, surpassing 10,000 acres of protected land, and it’s through the tireless efforts of over 70 dedicated Guardian volunteers that we aim to maintain the ecological integrity of INT’s natural areas.

Chris Brennan, a 70-year-old Islander and one of INT’s 76 Conservation Guardians, shares his motivation for being a Guardian for Nature: “It’s a way to help nature a little and not feel as hopeless and anxious in the face of the major environmental crises we are experiencing.”

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Embracing the Guardian Spirit: A Journey of Stewardship

Welcome to the heart of being a Guardian for Nature, where the essence of stewardship intertwines with the call to become custodians of Prince Edward Island’s natural heritage. In the realm of conservation, stewardship is the cornerstone, and being a Guardian for Nature is the embodiment of this duty.

At Island Nature Trust, stewardship is not merely a concept; it’s a way of life—a commitment to safeguarding our Island’s ecological heritage for generations to come. As stewards of over 11,000 acres of land across PEI, we take on the responsibility of monitoring, maintaining, and restoring these treasured ecosystems in perpetuity.

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Privately Protecting Natural Areas on Prince Edward Island: The Story of Kathy Stuart and Stuart Memorial Woodland Natural Area

Although Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada, many call it home. This small Island boasts a large variety of landscapes, forests, rolling fields, rivers, wetlands, and beaches, all of which enhance the Islanders’ attachment to the land. The Island is roughly 85% privately owned, and many of the landowners are long-term residents or visitors with special ties to PEI’s natural beauty. For those with strong ties to the Island and its natural features, it is not hard to see that the pressure of development is decreasing the Island’s natural spaces; and for some, the need to conserve these areas for future generations is evident.

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Private Landowner’s Frequently Asked Questions:

Many of Prince Edward Island’s residents have strong ties to the Island and would like to see the natural features that define the landscape preserved for future generations to enjoy. There are several options for private landowners who are interested in protecting their properties from future development and conserving the land’s natural features. Island Nature Trust has an “Options booklet” available for people interested in exploring land conservation opportunities. For landowners who want to keep their properties in their family for future generations, but also want to ensure that they are not developed in the future, using a legal mechanism such as the Natural Areas Protection Act (NAPA) might be the right option. Protecting land under the NAPA is a big decision, and big decisions are often paired with several questions. We hope to answer a few of them here today.

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Nature’s Social Media Advocates: Amplifying Conservation Efforts with Island Nature Trust

Conservation isn’t solely the responsibility of organizations or governments; individuals hold immense power to drive change, especially in the digital era. Social media platforms serve as potent tools to amplify voices and advocate for crucial causes like environmental conservation. Here’s how you, as an individual, can leverage your social media channels to support Island Nature Trust and contribute to conservation efforts:

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Strengthening Conservation Through Collaboration

INT’s Vital Nonprofit Partnerships

Conservation is a collective effort that requires collaboration and active participation from various organizations and individuals. Island Nature Trust (INT) recognizes the importance of forging partnerships with like-minded organizations to achieve its mission of protecting Prince Edward Island’s natural heritage. These partnerships extend beyond shared goals; they represent a shared commitment to conservation and the collective responsibility we hold to safeguard our environment. By engaging with these organizations and amplifying their efforts on social media, individuals can play a vital role in advocating for nature and supporting INT’s conservation initiatives. Don’t forget to like, follow, and share content from these organizations on social media, and inform yourself by visiting their websites to stay updated on their latest initiatives and opportunities for involvement. Join the conversation and Be Outspoken for Nature today!

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What is the Natural Areas Protection Act on Prince Edward Island?

The PEI Natural Areas Protection Act (NAPA) stands as a significant legislative tool for safeguarding ecologically important land in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Island Nature Trust (INT) employs this act to protect and conserve the province’s invaluable natural areas. In a province where 87% of land is privately owned, INT acquires ecologically important land and uses NAPA to ensure the preservation of PEI’s diverse ecosystems for generations to come. However, INT is not the only organization that can utilize NAPA, other organizations, the Province of PEI, and individuals can also protect natural areas through NAPA.

NAPA defines natural areas as land containing natural ecosystems, habitats for rare or endangered flora and fauna, unique features, scenic beauty, or opportunities for scientific and educational programs in the natural environment.

NAPA empowers organizations like Island Nature Trust to protect and manage these areas, preventing their degradation or conversion for other purposes. When a parcel of land is designated, it becomes subject to restrictions, including activities like tree cutting, introducing non-native species, operating motor vehicles, constructing buildings or roads, and more.

The protection provided by NAPA is permanent and cannot be removed by the landowner or organizations like INT. The restrictive covenant remains in effect even if ownership changes, ensuring ongoing preservation. However, the Minister of Environment, Energy, and Climate Action has limited authority to revoke the designation under specific circumstances, although this is infrequent.

To ensure proper management and designation, the NAPA Technical Advisory Committee reviews all applications and provides guidance to the Minister. This committee plays a crucial role in the protection and preservation of PEI’s natural areas.

Benefits and Future Implications

The PEI Natural Areas Protection Act, coupled with the efforts of Island Nature Trust, offers numerous benefits to PEI’s environment and communities.

Biodiversity Conservation: By protecting and managing ecologically important land, NAPA designation helps preserve the rich biodiversity of PEI. These natural areas serve as habitats for numerous plant and animal species, some of which may be endangered or at risk. Conserving these ecosystems contributes to the overall health and resilience of the island’s natural heritage.

Education and Recreation: Protected natural areas not only offer opportunities for research and scientific studies but also serve as valuable educational resources for schools, universities, and the public. Some natural areas contain footpaths, which provide spaces for outdoor recreation, promoting physical and mental well-being, and fostering a connection with nature.

Climate Change Mitigation: Preserved natural areas act as carbon sinks, absorbing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a crucial factor in mitigating climate change. Conserving these lands helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and promotes climate resilience

Frequently Asked Questions

What land can be protected through NAPA?

In order for land to be protected through the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act, it must meet the definition of a natural area. A natural area is defined as a parcel of land that:

  • contains natural ecosystems or constitutes the habitat of rare, endangered or uncommon plant or animal species,
  • contains unusual botanical, zoological, geological, morphological or palaeontological features,
  • exhibits exceptional and diversified scenery,
  • provides haven for seasonal concentrations of birds and animals, or
  • provides opportunities for scientific and educational programs in aspects of the natural environment.

Who can protect their land through NAPA?

The Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action can approve NAPA designation of a natural area that is (a) Crown land, (b) the Minister has entered into an agreement with a private landowner to purchase, lease or acquire the land, or (c) a private landowner has elected to register a restrictive covenant on their land. So essentially, both the Province of PEI and private landowners (individuals or organizations) can apply to designate their land under NAPA.

Why protect land through NAPA?

The purpose of NAPA is to preserve natural areas in the province. A private landowner may wish to protect their land through NAPA to ensure the area remains as a natural area into the future, preventing any development or conversion to a different land use (e.g., forestry or farming).

Is NAPA a permanent protection mechanism?

Once a private landowner designates their land under NAPA they cannot remove the designation. The restrictive covenant is applicable to all future owners as well and is essentially permanent. While a landowner cannot remove the designation, the Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action does have the ability in certain circumstances to revoke designation to private and Crown land. This is uncommon and INT views the NAPA designation as a permanent protection mechanism.

If I own land and am interested in protecting natural features, do I have to protect the full property?

No. Landowners who have natural features on their property but also have structures (e.g., homes and/or buildings) can apply to designate only a portion of the property. Structures and roads would have to be excluded from the designated area. INT can assist interested private landowners through the designation process.

What activities does NAPA restrict?

NAPA restricts activities that have the potential to degrade a natural area. It also prevents conversion of a natural area to a different use – for example, conversion of a natural area to farmland or subdivision. Some common restrictions include:

  • Cutting, destroying or removing trees, shrubs or vegetation (invasive species may be removed);
  • Planting or introducing non-native plant or animal species;
  • Operating motor vehicles on the property, including snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles;
  • Creating, constructing, or paving roads, driveways, docks, landing strips or parking lots;
  • Erecting or constructing buildings, fences, or structures of any kind;
  • Dumping, filling, excavating, mining, drilling, dredging or adding/removing surface or sub-surface material;
  • Severance or subdivision; and
  • Camping, campfires, or erection of artificial shelters.

Ways To Protect Your Land

Private Stewardship

You can retain ownership of the land and still place it under NAPA protection. Our resource guide “Protecting Natural Places in Prince Edward Island”’ provides more detail on this option.

Donate or Sell Your Land

For those who are able, the act of giving land to a land trust so that it may be protected is the ultimate in generosity. Island Nature Trust profoundly appreciates anyone who considers such a gift.