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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The Judson Family: Honoring their vital land donation for coastal headland conservation 

Island Nature Trust (INT) relies significantly on land donations in protecting the natural landscapes of Prince Edward Island, particularly when these donations connect with existing protected areas. While financial support plays a crucial role in the Island Nature Trust’s mission to safeguard the island’s natural heritage, the donation of land stands as a testament and lasting commitment from individuals and families to protect the island’s ecological diversity.

We are excited to spotlight the remarkable generosity of the Judson family, who donated the 117-acre Judson Salt Marsh Natural Area in Alexandra. This donation aims to expand the already protected Crown Point headland, known as the 182-acre Crown Point – Wjikijek Natural Area. The latter faces threats of development due to its proximity to Charlottetown and Stratford, making it a focal point in recent conservation endeavors by the Island Nature Trust.

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INT Expands its ‘Corridors of Connectivity’ Mission with Generous Land Donation in Blooming Point

Island Nature Trust (INT) has reached a major milestone in its conservation efforts. With the recent donation of 15 acres by Bruce and Patricia Craig (pictured), INT’s total acquisitions of ecologically important land now exceeds the 10,000-acre mark. This contribution located in Blooming Point on the Old Bedford Road, not only expands connectivity for wildlife, but also strengthens conservation efforts and promotes the preservation of surrounding ecosystems.

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Bookmark makes inaugural donation to Island Nature Trust’s Seed Tree Initiative

In celebration of the Bookmark’s 50th anniversary, the Charlottetown based book seller has made five $10,000 donations to community organizations. $7,500 of its donation to the Trust was used to sponsor a Red Maple Seed Tree in the North Lake Creek Natural Area in North Lake, Kings County. The remaining $2,500 donated to the Trust’s Match A Patch campaign, which uses publicly raised funds – matched by the MapleCross Fund and the Province of PEI – to acquire a network of ecologically diverse natural areas across PEI. 

The Trust’s Seed Tree Sponsorship initiative is in response to the need for nature-based solutions to climate change. In the wake of the most recent major weather event, Post-Tropical storm Fiona, Islanders were met with too many downed trees to count. In those first few weeks following the storm, staff at the Trust quickly got to work assessing the damage and the likelihood for the Trust’s natural areas to be able to repair themselves naturally. Early reports confirmed that a healthy number of the Trust’s more substantial seed trees survived.  

These seed trees, lovingly referred to as Seed Trees, will be instrumental in the natural regeneration of INT forested properties and will continue as seed providers for the Trust as well as partner nurseries throughout the province dedicated to ensuring a steady supply of native species for planting. 

“We’re touched and appreciative that the Bookmark, a small local business here in Charlottetown, has heard our call for Seed Tree sponsorship and made the inaugural donation in December 2022. We know it’s been a challenging couple of years for bricks and mortar retailers, so this significant contribution is not lost on us”, says Bianca McGregor, Executive Director of Island Nature Trust.  

Sponsorship opportunities focus on eight different species of native trees found in the Wabanaki-Acadian Forest. Sponsorships are for three years for annual pledges of $2,500, $5,000 or $7,500. Benefits vary depending on sponsorship level. More details can be found on the Trust’s website at  

Money raised for Seed Tree Sponsorship will go to support the ongoing stewardship efforts of the trees themselves, the natural areas that they live in, seed collection, as well as the acquisition of other impacted forested properties that will benefit from seed tree saplings as part of their recovery.   

Addressing the impacts of Post-Tropical storm Fiona, and future weather events, in Prince Edward Island’s forested landscape will take considerable time and planning. By focussing resources on seed trees, the Trust will be able to ensure a strong local seed source to help forests in the province become more resilient to climate change.  

Other early adopters of Seed Tree Sponsorship include Carr, Stevenson MacKay of Charlottetown who sponsored a Sugar Maple in the Malcolm McArthur 1899 Natural Area located in Elmwood, Queens County. Other anonymous donors sponsored Red and Sugar Maple in natural areas in Prince County.  

Images & Video  

Photographs and Video can be viewed and downloaded from this link:

Quick Facts  

  • Island Nature Trust owns and stewards over 8,600 acres of land in 88 separate natural areas across all three counties.  
  • Island Nature Trust has identified seed trees in 26 of its natural areas. 
  • Selected seed trees are acknowledged as phenotypically (as in strong DNA) superior, prolific in seeding and flowering, sturdy, healthy, free of damage and of good growth form.  
  • Tree species identified for sponsorship: 
    • Eastern Hemlock – longest-lived native tree species in PEI 
    • Red Oak – Important food source (acorns) for wildlife
    • Red Maple – Abundant, fast growing and predicted to do well re: climate change
    • White Pine – Long lived and grows tall 
    • Eastern White Cedar – Slow growing and found in wet/swampy areas 
    • Yellow Birch – Among the tallest of native birch 
    • White Ash – Does well in floods and seeds are a food source for birds 
    • Sugar Maple – Known for maple syrup, does well in the shade 
  • Island Nature Trust’s Match A Patch campaign was launched in July 2022 with a goal to raise $150,000 towards its mission to strategically secure a corridor of natural areas across PEI. Public donations are tripled thanks to matching partners – MapleCross Fund and the Province of PEI. The Trust has $37,500 left to raise by March 31st, 2022. 


Island Nature Trust is a membership-based, non-government, Canadian charity dedicated to land conservation in Prince Edward Island since 1979. In a race against time, our mission is to preserve and steward forever a network of natural areas and wildlife habitats across PEI and bring together those who care about preserving PEI’s natural legacy for future generations.  

We are a key provider of technical, science-based knowledge on land stewardship and wildlife in PEI for landowners, governments, and partner environmental groups. We provide mentorship and employment opportunities to people committed to land stewardship, conservation research and wildlife monitoring.  


Ben Russell – Communications Manager  

Seed Tree Sponsorship

Seed Trees in the Wabanaki-Acadian forest are elder trees highly regarded for their important seed-producing abilities. Elder trees provide an anchor for the diverse structure of the many-sized trees in their communities.

Learn how sponsorship of an INT Seed Tree will ensure these forest matriarchs continue to deliver their life-giving seed to diverse ecosystems in our natural areas across the Island.

We all share a unique connection to nature, and our supporters express it in diverse ways.
They are our Champions of Nature, coming from various backgrounds – from hands-on volunteers to
digital advocates, creative fundraisers, and generous donors.

Are you passionate about hands-on conservation efforts or getting directly involved in nature protection?

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Seed Tree Sponsorship

In response to the damage created by post-tropical storm Fiona, and the anticipated long recovery process for INT’s forested areas, the Trust has recently launched an initiative aimed at protecting and stewarding important native seed trees. Through Seed Tree Sponsorship we are asking individuals and businesses to sponsor an identified seed tree in one of our natural areas. These trees, with their proven DNA, will be instrumental in the natural regeneration of their respective immediate landscapes, not to mention great seed providers for nurseries dedicated to ensuring a steady supply of native species for planting.

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Buote family donates legacy upland hardwood forest in New Glasgow

It’s a crisp fall morning. The leaves crunching under our feet betray the silence as Rowena Lawlor and Faren Buote accompany me into the Buote Heritage Woods Natural Area in New Glasgow. The stand of old white pine trees greeting us at the entrance to the trail have a stoic presence. The forest is looking unusually skeletal for this time of year from the impact of Hurricane Fiona. Only a few isolated red and amber patches are visible, indicating some leafed branches were spared the intense winds that tore through the rest of the canopy a few weeks earlier.

‘This is the spot where my siblings and I came across a large owl last year,’ says Rowena, one of eight siblings who – as a family – donated the woods to Island Nature Trust in 2021. Her voice crackles with emotion. ‘Walking together in the woods it suddenly appeared ahead of us in the trees. It felt like the owl was our mother Clarice proudly looking down on us. She would have been so happy to know that this land is now protected, forever’.

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