Island Nature Trust announces first major campaign fundraising success as conservation partners quadruple donations from Islanders

The Trust’s Saving Our IsLAND matching campaign reaches $600K, thanks to public support and new collaborations with MapleCross and the Province of PEI

February 28th 2022: Island Nature Trust and the Province of PEI’s mission to protect 7% of PEI by 2030 and become the first province in Canada to reach Net Zero, took a significant step forward today.

The Saving Our Island campaign launched in September 2021, with a deadline for 1st March 2022 to raise $150,000 for the long-term protection of PEI’s remaining native forests, has now been reached.

On the back of new conservation alliances with the Province of PEI, MapleCross Fund based in Ontario and an anonymous benefactor – pledges from the matching partners will allow the total to grow from $150,000 to $600,000.

Over the last year, campaign funds have enabled INT to double the yearly acreage of acquisitions for ecologically sensitive land in PEI. In this period, INT secured 2175 acres of natural area, which is the largest amount of land secured over twelve-months in he Trust’s 40-year history.

Thanks to the success of the campaign, a recent addition to Crown Point – Wji’kijek Natural Area in Alexandra, which expands a coastal migratory flyway for shore birds, a rare 37-acre home to spawning Atlantic Salmon in Bangor, 200 acres of riparian forest along the culturally significant Midgell River (Elm Road), and a 65-acre parcel of rare cedar and white ash forested wetland in Miscouche will all be protected in perpetuity under the Natural Areas Protection Act. The two Natural Areas in Alexandra and Bangor are due be formally named by MapleCross later in the year.

“It is truly remarkable to see the Trust’s first ever major fundraising campaign succeed on so many levels. We have new partners who are committed for the long term and the response from Islanders who have stood up in support is heart warming. However, with natural areas estimated to cost on average of $1000 per acre or more, and eight years left to save up to an additional 35,000+ acres to meet initial targets, all of Prince Edward Islands conservation partners really need to ramp up annual acreage amounts put under protection.” – Bianca McGregor, Executive Director at Island Nature Trust

Inspired by campaign messaging and encounters with passionate and knowledgeable INT supporters, Isobel Ralston & Jan Oudenes of MapleCross committed matching funds in the Fall of 2021 on the understanding that Islanders would come together in support of the campaign and raise the $150,000 seeding amount by 1st March 2022.

MapleCross Fund was launched in 2017 to provide funds to Canadian land trusts on a mission to preserve and steward land in perpetuity. With their investment, MapleCross posed the question; “will Islanders respond and help protect what lies in their own backyards?”

“The locals really must get involved. It shows that a campaign is worthwhile, and our future investment will be also dependent on whether the community is engaged and contributing. So, we may get on board with a project but if there’s a lack of support from locals, we then ask ourselves, is it really worth investing in this Trust again?” – Isobel Ralston & Jan Oudenes, MapleCross

Islanders profoundly answered that question today with $150,000 donated by 303 individuals.

Following a public appeal to raise the remaining $20,000 for the Match A Patch Campaign in early February of this year, Judy Profitt, a 7th generation Islander from Brackley donated $5000 to the Saving Our Island: Match A Patch campaign:

“The matching campaign was very attractive to me. Since the impact is amplified by major benefactors, I feel my donation isn’t stuck in a bubble. For someone who cares deeply about their Island, how often do opportunities – to make a real difference – like this present themselves?’

“My father, Wendell Profitt was a passionate about protecting PEI’s native forests. Up until his death in 2017, he worked tirelessly for the protection of natural sites through his employment for many years with the PEl Government as well as through his volunteer activity with the Island Nature Trust. He would have been incredibly heartened to see the Province of PEI standing together with INT to protect these forests” says Judy.”

“We are pleased to work alongside the Island Nature Trust as they further their mission to protect land on PEI,” said Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, Steven Myers. “Our approach to reaching net zero has to consider all factors, and land use and protection is a major priority.”

Having just surpassed the 7000-acre mark for INT protected Natural Areas – the trust intends to ramp up its mission to help secure thousands of acres more by the end of the decade.

“This campaign isn’t the end. it’s the beginning of a process. If we can raise $600,000 in five months, imagine what we can raise in eight years!’ exclaims INT Executive Director, Bianca McGregor.

The takeaway according to Bianca: “This is a success hinged on the support from today’s Islanders that will resonate with future generations. Donations from Islanders are now being leveraged by growing alliances with investors and partners. This marriage will ensure the long-term survival of our Island and I speak on behalf of our all of our matching partners in humbly thanking everyone that participated.”

Images & Video

Photographs available on request


Island Nature Trust is a membership-based, non-government, Canadian charity dedicated to land conservation in Prince Edward Island since 1979. We envision a future where P.E.I. has a network of protected, robust natural areas championed by knowledgeable, engaged Islanders.

We envision a network of protected natural areas across PEI sustained by the love and generosity of Islanders today for the enjoyment of Islanders and wildlife tomorrow.

Learn More

Website article:

INT Spring Newsletter:

Saving Our Island campaign:



Ben RussellCommunications Manager
Island Nature Trust

Island Nature Trust protects land and wildlife with donation from PEI liquor stores

A five-year agreement with PEI Liquor Control Commission and partnering suppliers, has helped the Trust acquire natural areas in Alexandra and significantly accelerated its protection program.

 L-R: Island Nauture Trust staff – Charlotte Thompson, Fund Development Coordinator and Bianca McGregor, Executive Director, pictured with Darlene Compton, Minister of Finance for Prince Edward Island at Government House in Charlottetown.
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First of its kind donation sees American family return forest and wetland back to Islanders

A game-changing cross-border partnership between Island Nature Trust and American Friends of Canadian Conservation – launched to help American landowners donate their land for conservation purposes – is celebrating its first win.

American ownership is approximately 3.5% of the total land on PEI, yet for many years, American landowners interested in donating land for conservation purposes have experienced disproportionate legal and financial barriers. However, thanks to INT and American Friends initiative forged in 2018, significant tax relief is now secured for American donors.

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Restricted dune area and nesting space for the endangered Piping Plover violated by individuals setting up beach campground in Anglo Rustico

Prominent signage for the species-at-risk was removed and abused for beach games at Barachois Beach – home to one of only five successful hatching sites on the Island

On Saturday July 17, provincial conservation officers and federal wildlife officers received calls from several concerned citizens reporting possible species-at-risk violations witnessed on Barachois Beach. Upon arrival, officers observed a group of people camping inside an area closed to protect the endangered Piping Plover and nesting Common Terns. A tent was erected upon a dune with a bonfire going. In addition, signs demarking the nesting area were removed and setup as goalposts for a ball game.

Barachois Beach is a pivotal site for Piping Plover on PEI. Over the last 15 years, it has supported 15% of all nest attempts on provincial beaches. While the beach is over 148 acres in size, the areas closed for nesting birds this year is less than 10 acres. With just a fraction of the beach restricted, INT relies on members of the community to pay attention to signage, take heed of restrictions and avoid actions that could compromise the survival of this endangered species.

“To say that we were disappointed and saddened by the choices that these individuals made is a vast understatement. We work to conserve species at risk on PEI and to ensure that we have a diversity of wildlife and wild spaces to enjoy. We are aided in this work by hundreds of volunteers and supporters. We know through over 40 years of experience, that protecting the animals and plants that we share this province with is vitally important to islanders and visitors alike.” 

– Shannon Mader, Species at Risk Manager, Island Nature Trust

Over the years, appeals to the public in helping the recovery of the Piping Plover population have been met with a positive collective effort from individuals, communities, conservation groups, industry and governments. Every year, signs are erected around Piping Plover nests. Trust volunteers and ‘Guardians’ join staff to update signage across PEI beaches that are known to host nesting Piping Plover.

Normally, INT staff and volunteers engage in outreach and education and are met with receptive citizens, eager to learn more about the wildlife of PEI. It is not common to receive reports of individuals flagrantly disregarding signage and setting up activity areas within restricted nesting areas. This type of violation has the potential to undo decades of conservation work towards the recovery of the species and the encompassing beach dune ecosystem – a natural protective barrier to the ongoing effects of erosion and climate change.

“I find this difficult to accept. It is an ongoing problem that those carrying out infringements always claim to have not seen the signs at the beach entrance even though they are prominent and impossible to miss. Most people on the beach are great but the minority are disheartening. Last year we had no successful hatching so this year’s chicks should be a cause for celebration but instead we have this.”

Mike Salter, volunteer for Island Nature Trust

At the time of this incident, this beach was home to two Piping Plover families – one with five-day old chicks and another with one day old chicks. The Piping Plover was listed under the federal Species at Risk Act in 2003. Designated as endangered, the species is at great risk of disappearing from our Island beaches. Now more than ever, the Piping Plover requires ongoing collaboration from our Island community to ensure their survival.

The incident on Saturday is under investigation by Provincial Conservation Officers.

“Provincial Conservation Officers at Department of Justice and Public Safety are concerned for the ongoing noncompliance at Barachois Beach. Penalties under the Species at Risk Act are severe and can carry fines up to $50,000 for a person and $1,000,000 for a corporation.”

Wade MacKinnon, Manager of Investigation and Enforcement, Justice and Public Safety

To report illegal activity on Island beaches please call 902-368-4884.              
Violations can be reported via the INT website


Piping Plover at Barachois Beach


Island Nature Trust is a membership-based, non-government, Canadian charity dedicated to land conservation in Prince Edward Island since 1979. We envision a future where P.E.I. has a network of protected, robust natural areas championed by knowledgeable, engaged Islanders.

We envision a network of protected natural areas across PEI sustained by the love and generosity of Islanders today for the enjoyment of Islanders and wildlife tomorrow.

Learn More

Visit our website:


Ben Russell
Communications Manager
902-892-7513 or 902-566-9150

Island Nature Trust secures significant carbon sink in its largest single acquisition to date

136 hectare (337 acre) property in Forest Hill contributes to a sizeable unfragmented block of rich lowland forest in PEI and is home to C02 absorbing fen peatland – a natural combatant against global warming

Forest Hill is an ecological treasure trove, providing benefits to both Islanders and wildlife. Defined by the presence of lowland forest, fen peatland and riparian habitats in the St. Peters River watershed, the Hansen – MacIsaac Natural Area is a relatively untouched area of eastern Prince Edward Island. It is the single largest land parcel secured by the Trust in its forty-one-year history. Recognized for its high ecological value by the Minister of Environment & Climate Change Canada, the parcel, located several kilometers to the Southeast of St Peter’s Bay, will now be protected forever thanks to an Ecological Gift donation from Carl Hansen and Dan MacIsaac.

The peatlands that constitute nearly a half of the 337-acre property serve the Island community through continued carbon sequestration, groundwater and coldwater springs protection. Although they only occupy 3% of the global land area, peatlands contain about 25% of global soil carbon — twice as much as the world’s forests. Acting as a natural carbon sink, they absorb 150 to 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere each year worldwide. In a province that has experienced a loss of ­­­­almost 1,200 acres of peatland due to mining, protecting this vital ecosystem service area in perpetuity will mitigate the effects of climate change and directly benefit Islanders for generations to come.

Forest Hill is notable for its intact and contiguous lowland forest blocks, which are rare for PEI. Recognized as a Priority Place for biodiversity and species-at-risk in PEI, the forested wetland is home to migratory songbirds, such as the Ruby-crowned kinglet and palm warbler. Three species of frog (wood frog, northern leopard frog and spring peeper), beaver lodges, muskrat dens, coyote scat, and ruffed grouse have all been observed at the site.

In addition, Forest Hill has added ecological value because of its connectivity to other protected lands. Near to Greenwich, PEI National Park, it is also bounded to the south by the Forest Hill Natural Area and to the north by the River Wetlands Wildlife Management Area, both owned by the Province. To the north lies a property within the St. Peters River watershed that INT is in the process of securing as another Ecological Gift. Forest Hill’s proximity to protected natural spaces provides an important linkage in allowing dynamic ecosystems and ecological services to flourish.

To the south, the provincial Forest Hill Natural Area supports walking and horse-riding trails that help Islanders connect to their environmental heritage in an immersive way. INT will honour the donors’ wishes to see a loop trail addition to this network using the existing woods road that enters and exits onto MacSwain Rd. The woods road follows the highest elevations on the property where Islanders can experience the natural beauty of the forest without impacting on the natural spaces.


“Contiguous forests are important in minimizing some of the long-term risks to ecological integrity from threats like windthrow in high intensity storms, extended drought and invasive plant infestations. There are also many forest songbirds that require large blocks of intact habitat for nesting and foraging. It is so critically important for people and wildlife that we retain and protect these last remaining large natural landscapes.”
– Megan Hartris, Director of Conservation for Island Nature Trust

“Our experience with Island Nature Trust and the process of donating through the Ecological Gift program was seamless. From the start, Trust staff put us in the right direction and carried out all the work for the application. There was very little effort expected on our part. Also, we appreciate that Island Nature Trust agreed to provide access to horse riders and extend the existing trail to allow for Islanders to appreciate nature on the land.”
– Carl Hansen, Land Donor

“We love the Island, it’s a paradise. To know that Forest Hill’s natural legacy will continue forever under the protection of Island Nature Trust means a lot to us.”

– Dan MacIsaac, Land Donor

“The Abegweit Conservation Society is pleased to hear of the land donation and the establishment of the Hanson MacIsaac Natural Area in Forest Hill. All of the St Peters Bay watershed drainage has been inhabited by Indigenous peoples that include the present Mi’kmaq for over 10,000 years. Archaeology has well established the presence of the Mi’kmaq all along the bay area including Greenwich. Since the wetlands of Forest Hill contain the culturally significant, and threatened wisqoq (black ash), it is highly likely that many had ventured into the wetland forests of this location to harvest wisqoq for making baskets, axe handles and other implements for their daily use. A variety of medicinal plants also used by the Mi’qmaq can easily be found within all the habitats contained in this new Natural Area. It is reassuring to know that the habitats for plants and wildlife will be protected and accessible for generations to come.”

– Rebecca Hersom-Petersen, Natural Resource Projects Manager at Abegweit Conservation Society


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Quick Facts

  • Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of addressing global climate change
  • The drainage of peatlands for agriculture and forestry has resulted in the emission of extensive greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, most notably carbon dioxide and methane
  • It is estimated that drained peatlands account for around 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and forestry, worldwide
  • More than a third of the world’s peatlands are in Canada, and they cover about 14 per cent of Canada’s land mass
  • Three main factors giving peatlands the ability to sequester and store carbon are the high biological productivity, high water table and slow decomposition rates
  • Ecosystem services are the many and varied benefits to humans provided by the natural environment and from healthy ecosystems. Such ecosystems include, for example, agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems. Healthy, functioning ecosystems offer services like natural pollination of crops, clean air, extreme weather mitigation, and human mental and physical well-being
  • Forest Hill is the 24th Ecological Gift donation received by Island Nature Trust. The Trust facilitates every step of the application process for donors. Process time averages six months
  • Ecological Gift – Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program provides a way for Canadians with ecologically sensitive land to protect nature and leave a legacy for future generations. It offers significant tax benefits to landowners who donate land or a partial interest in land to a qualified recipient, by providing exemption from capital gains tax
  • The Mi’kmaq name for St. Peters Bay is Puku’samkek – At the place where there are plenty of clams in the sand.


Island Nature Trust is a membership-based, non-government, Canadian charity dedicated to land conservation in Prince Edward Island since 1979.

We envision a network of protected natural areas across PEI sustained by the love and generosity of Islanders today for the enjoyment of Islanders and wildlife tomorrow.

Visit our website:


Ben Russell – Communications Manager
902-892-7513 or 902-566-9150

Island Nature Trust celebrates spring by rejuvenating funding partnership with liquor store outlets

From left: Helena Villard, Manager of Queen Street liquor store, Darlene Compton, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Control Commission and Bianca McGregorExecutive Director of Island Nature Trust. Pictured at the Queen Street liquor store in Charlottetown. (Photo credit: Ben Russell – Island Nature Trust)

After a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Island Nature Trust and the PEI Liquor Control Commission are continuing its successful ‘Let’s Protect Our Island’ campaign.

The collaboration now entering its fifth year runs from April 1st to May 18th with participating suppliers of beer, wine and spirits donating up to $1 from their sales of participating products at PEILCC retail outlets to Island Nature Trust. Signage promoting this initiative – including the featured products – can be found in all 18 PEI Liquor retail outlets across the province.

Island Nature Trust is committed to investing in the future of Islanders by working to protect natural landscapes in PEI. Since 2016, funds from the initiative have helped Island Nature Trust protect over 1,600 acres of forest, wetlands and coast in PEI. Islanders directly benefit from the ecological services that Island Nature Trust’s natural areas provide with clean water, clean air and an environment resilient to climate change. As Island Nature Trust’s property portfolio increases so does its costs for responsible land management, public trails stewardship, effective communication with Island communities and education and collaboration with user groups.

The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted public access to the outdoors while the lack of interaction with natural spaces in this time has impacted the public’s physical and mental health. Two donations of properties in 2020 in Indian River and New Glasgow brings the total Island Nature Trust natural areas with existing trail systems to seven. This year’s LCC funding drive will allow Island Nature Trust to maintain and steward our trails in addition to hosting education and engagement opportunities. As Islanders face another summer of restricted travel, this focus for the year’s collaboration with the PEILCC will provide benefit to the people of PEI as well as the land.


“I am glad that this initiative can continue,” said Darlene Compton, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Control Commission. “The funds raised in this campaign with the Island Nature Trust will assist in their work preserving Island land now and for generations to come.”

“The pandemic has restricted Islanders’ access to the rest of the world but reintroduced us to the beauty in the landscape just outside our doors. Collectively, we have recognized the tremendous benefits that interacting with natural spaces have on our physical and mental health. Now there is an opportunity to invest in those lands that have kept us grounded in one of the hardest years many of us have experienced.

The contribution of this 5-year funding campaign with LCC to land conservation in PEI has helped us significantly accelerate our protection program. We are full of plans to make this summer a great time for Islanders to reconnect with the Island’s beautiful natural landscapes.” Megan Harris, Director of Conservation


Island Nature Trust is a membership-based, non-government, Canadian charity dedicated to land conservation in Prince Edward Island since 1979. We envision a future where P.E.I. has a network of protected, robust natural areas championed by knowledgeable, engaged Islanders.

Island Nature Trust envisions a network of protected natural areas across PEI sustained by the love and generosity of Islanders today for the enjoyment of Islanders and wildlife tomorrow.

Island Nature Trust:

  • Acquires land with representative natural ecosystems, through donation and purchase
  • Delivers numerous nature education programs to children and adults
  • Manages its properties to retain and restore their ecological values
  • Assists private landowners to manage and protect their own properties
  • Monitors and protect species-at-risk on the Island

Island Nature Trust owns or lease ­­­­5284 acres, almost all of which is designated under the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act (NAPA) and open to the public for natural space enjoyment.

Learn More:  
Ben Russell Communications Manager
902-892-7513 or 902-566-9150  
Participating products are marked with the Island Nature Trust logo, such as this brand new ‘Beacon Blonde’ beer by Gahan. (Photo credit: Ben Russell – Island Nature Trust)
Campaign funds will go towards stewarding existing natural areas with public access trails, such as the Kildare Forest Natural Area in Huntley
Students from Westisle School help to clean up the perimeter of Kildare Forest Natural Area. The property is one of seven INT natural areas that contain public trails.
INT logo’s will be adorned on signage situated on the liquor store aisles of participating products. (Photo credit: Ben Russell – Island Nature Trust)
Queen Street liquor store manager Helena Villard shows INT Executive Director, Bianca McGregor an example of a popular participating product – Woodbridge’s range of wines. (Photo credit: Ben Russell – Island Nature Trust)

Island Nature Trust célèbre le printemps en renouvelant un partenariat de financement avec les magasins d’alcools

Après une pause d’un an en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19, Island Nature Trust et la Régie des alcools de l’Î.-P.-É. continuent leur populaire campagne « Let’s Protect Our Island » (« Protégeons notre île »).

La collaboration en sera à sa cinquième édition du 1er avril au 18 mai. Les fournisseurs de bière, de vin et de spiritueux participant donneront jusqu’à 1 $ de la vente des produits désignés dans les magasins de la Régie à Island Nature Trust. Des affiches faisant la promotion de cette initiative, y compris les produits en faisant partie – seront placées dans les 18 magasins d’alcools de la province.

Island Nature Trust est engagé à investir dans l’avenir des Insulaires en travaillant à la protection des milieux naturels de la province. Depuis 2016, les fonds de l’initiative ont aidé Island Nature Trust à protéger plus de 1600 acres de forêt, de terres humides et de côtes à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard. Les Insulaires peuvent bénéficier directement des services écologiques des aires naturelles d’Island Nature Trust, comme de l’eau et de l’air propres et un environnement résistant aux changements climatiques. À mesure que le nombre de propriétés foncières d’Island Nature Trust augmente, il est en de même pour les coûts relatifs à la gestion responsable des terres, à l’administration des sentiers publics, à la communication efficace avec les communautés insulaires, à la sensibilisation et à la collaboration avec des groupes d’usagers.

La pandémie de COVID-19 a restreint l’accès du public aux aires extérieures, et le manque d’interaction avec la nature pendant ce temps a eu des effets sur sa santé mentale et physique. Le don de deux propriétés en 2020 à Indian River et New Glasgow apporte à sept le nombre total d’aires naturelles avec réseaux de sentiers d’Island Trust Nature. Cette année, la levée de fonds de la Régie des alcools permettra à Island Nature Trust d’entretenir et de superviser les sentiers en plus de tenir des activités de sensibilisation et de mobilisation. Comme les Insulaires ne pourront pas encore voyager là où ils le veulent cet été, le but de la collaboration avec la Régie des alcools de cette année profitera aux terres et aux Insulaires.


« Je suis heureuse que cette initiative puisse continuer », a mentionné la ministre des Finances et ministre responsable de la Régie des alcools, Darlene Compton. « Les fonds recueillis dans la cadre de la campagne avec Island Nature Trust l’aidera à préserver les terres de l’Île pour aujourd’hui et demain. »

« La pandémie a restreint l’accès des Insulaires au reste du monde, mais nous a permis de redécouvrir la beauté des paysages qui nous entourent. De manière collective, nous avons reconnu les bienfaits incroyables de passer du temps en nature pour notre santé mentale et physique. Maintenant, il y a une opportunité d’investir dans les aires naturelles qui nous ont aidés à garder courage pendant l’une des années les plus difficiles que nombre d’entre nous ont connues.

La contribution découlant de cette campagne de financement de cinq ans avec la Régie des alcools pour la conservation des terres à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard nous a aidés de façon considérablement à accélérer notre programme de protection. Nous avons plusieurs plans pour faire de l’été un temps idéal pour les Insulaires de redécouvrir les merveilleux paysages naturels de la province », a ajouté Megan Harris, directrice de la Conservation.

À propos

Island Nature Trust est un organisme de bienfaisance canadien non gouvernemental à adhésion voué à la conservation des terres à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard depuis 1979. Island Nature Trust a pour vision un avenir où l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard a un réseau d’aires naturelles en santé protégées par des Insulaires engagés et avertis.

Island Nature Trust a aussi pour vision un réseau d’aires naturelles protégées partout à l’Île entretenues par l’amour et la générosité des Insulaires d’aujourd’hui pour les Insulaires et la faune et la flore de demain.

Island Nature Trust :

  • fait l’acquisition de terres ayant des écosystèmes naturels représentatifs, par l’entremise de dons et d’achats;
  • offre un éventail de programmes éducatifs sur la nature aux enfants et aux adultes;
  • gère ses propriétés pour préserver et restaurer leur valeur écologique;
  • aider les propriétaires fonciers privés à gérer et à protéger leur propriété;
  • surveille l’état des espèces en péril de la province et les protége.

Island Nature Trust possède ou loue 5284 acres, donc la presque entièreté sont désignés dans le cadre de la Natural Areas Protection Act (loi sur la protection des aires naturelles) de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard et ouverts au public pour qu’il puisse en profiter.

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Ben Russell Gestionnaire des communications
902-892-7513 ou 902-566-9150  

Island Nature Trust announces new Executive Director

In November, Island Nature Trust began the search for an Executive Director who would be asked to focus more intently on organizational growth and development. Our incumbent Executive Director, Megan Harris has now moved into a strategic role focused on acquisition and stewardship as the Trust’s new Director of Conservation. Read this interview with Megan referencing the new role in our December newsletter. After conducting a thorough candidate search, Island Nature Trust is happy to announce that Bianca McGregor will be its new Executive Director.

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Iconic coastline saved from development in Fortune Bridge

15 hectares (37 acre) property serves as a natural coastal buffer for species-at-risk such as the Piping Plover.

A coastal headland including ecologically important and fragile beach-dune habitat will now be protected forever. The peninsula, named Penny’s Point Natural Area, is located within the Rollo Bay Wildlife Management Area and is on the south point at the mouth of Rollo Bay. It was transferred to Island Nature Trust for perpetual stewardship in December, through a most generous and thoughtful donation. Land donors Tom Welch, Anne Lambert and Nancy Willis were resolved to see this coastline remain in a natural state forever.

The property is a highly significant sliver of the PEI coastline, which is under continued threat from erosion and wildlife displacement due to human encroachment. Penny’s Point is part of the northeastern shoreline that hosts some of the best examples of sand dune and beach systems in the Atlantic Maritime ecozone. Prince Edward Island has experienced high historic rates of habitat loss to agriculture and other development. Although natural forest cover is about 50%, remaining habitat patches are generally small, fragmented and degraded. The acquisition of this property will allow Island Nature Trust to conserve vulnerable beach-dune and coastal bluff ecosystems while restoring the land back to native coastal krummholz forest, dominated by the Island’s red oak and other native hardwoods. The sandstone bluffs exceed 10m in height and may provide suitable habitat for burrow occupants such as threatened bank swallow, in addition to belted kingfisher. The beach-dune area within and immediately adjacent the property’s southeast corner is identified as critical habitat for endangered piping plover.

“PEI’s multi-hued coastline is a dynamic and wild natural boundary between land and sea. Our ability to retain pockets of shore in a natural state translates directly to a healthier, more robust ecosystem that will provide for wildlife and people alike long into the future.” – Megan Harris, Executive Director Island Nature Trust

Penny’s Point has been named after land donor Tom Welch’s mother Jane Coyne, who was fondly known as ‘Penny’. His family’s love of PEI wildlife flourished over the decades as they vacationed to the Island every summer starting in the 1950’s.

As a youngster Tom and his siblings enjoyed creeping through coastal forest that existed before being cleared for farmland, to watch from high ground the seals sunbathing on the Rollo Bay sand bars at low tide.

“Penny would have been thrilled to know that the headland is now protected forever. We spent 60 years travelling to Fortune and she loved the area so much. She was concerned about the looming threat of development since our family observed first-hand the surrounding area being steadily built on over the decades.” – Tom Welch

Becoming a staunch supporter of conservation, Tom along with his wife Anne Lambert founded the International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC) in 2007 after recognizing that Canada lacked a charitable organization through which Canadians could conserve tropical nature and the winter habitats of Canada’s migratory birds.

This project has been made possible by the land donors, stewardship donations from generous Islanders and funding from the ECHO Foundation and by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund.

Additional Quotes

“By working with partners like Island Nature Trust and landowners like Tom Welch, Anne Lambert, and Nancy Willis, we are protecting Canada’s iconic natural landscapes in Prince Edward Island, such as the vulnerable beach-dune and coastal-bluff ecosystems. It’s projects across the country, like this one, that support the recovery of important species at risk, help fight climate change, and contribute toward our goal of protecting a quarter of land in Canada by 2025.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“Protecting iconic Island landscapes like the beach dunes and coastal bluffs found in Penny’s Point is good news, both for our community and for the species who call it home. Very grateful to the generous land donors and the Island Nature Trust for making today’s announcement possible, and for conserving Penny’s Point for generations to come.” – The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Member of Parliament for Cardigan

Quick Facts

• The core area of the property is the coastal cliff and dune. It is 37 acres (15 hectares) in size with 3,800 feet (1,158 meters) of shore frontage, 1000 feet of which is beach.
• The Atlantic Maritime ecozone is characterized by mixed-wood Acadian (Wapan’ekati) forests, sand dunes, and coastal islands. These systems, combined with ocean waters that, during the summer, are the warmest ocean waters in Canada, make them ideal recreational sites.
• The site is one of only two owned by INT that hosts habitat essential for Piping Plover nesting– a species-at-risk on PEI.
• The Rollo Bay Wildlife Management Area is the 6th largest conservation area in PEI and is 526 hectares/1,300 acres in size.
• The Province of Prince Edward Island has set a target of 7% of the landmass or 86,000 acres of natural areas to be protected by 2020.
• Fortune Bridge was and continues to be an important ancestral burial ground for Acadians.
• For the Mi’kmaq Peoples of Prince Edward Island, Fortune Bridge has cultural importance including the harvesting of fish, birds, medicinal plants, and shellfish (Specifically: the fish harvesting of eels, trout, smelts; bird harvesting of ducks, geese; decorative and medicinal plant harvesting; and shellfish harvesting of oysters along the Fortune River). On the land, Traditional Mi’kmaq use of the area includes feather gathering, campsites, and berry gathering.


Island Nature Trust is a membership-based, non-government, Canadian charity dedicated to land conservation in Prince Edward Island since 1979.
We envision a network of protected natural areas across PEI sustained by the love and generosity of Islanders today for the enjoyment of Islanders and wildlife tomorrow.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community. Private regional and community land trusts, of which Island Nature Trust is one, access a portion of funds from this program to protect ecologically significant land across Canada.




Ben Russell
Communications Manager
902-892-7513 or 902-566-9150

Tom Welch – Land donor

Nancy Willis – Land donor
902-367-0390 or 902-969-0084

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Côte iconique sauvé du développement à Fortune Bridge

Propriété de 15 hectares (37 acres) est un tampon naturel pour les espèces en péril comme le Pluvier siffleur

Une promontoire littoral, qui inclut d’habitat importante et fragile de plage-dune, sera maintenant protégée pour toujours. La péninsule, nommée Penny’s Point Natural Area, est située dans Rollo Bay Wildlife Management Area, qui est trouvée au point sud, à l’entrée de Rollo Bay. C’était transférée à Island Nature Trust pour l’intendance perpétuelle en décembre, grâce d’un don généreux.

Le propriété est une partie très significatif de la côte de Î-P-É, qui est dessous une menace continuelle de l’érosion et du déplacement de la faune, en raison d’empiètement humain. Penny’s Point est partie de la côte nord-est, qui représente certains des meilleurs exemples des dunes de sables et systèmes de plage dans l’écozone des Maritimes Atlantiques. L’Île-du-Prince-Édouard à expérimenté historiquement des taux de la perte d’habitat en raison d’agriculture et d’autre développement. Bien que le couvert forestier est naturellement 50%, l’habitat qui reste est normalement petit, fragmenté, et dégradé. L’acquisition de ce propriété permet à Island Nature Trust de conserver les écosystèmes vulnérables de plage-dune et promontoire côtière, en même temps qu’ils restaurent la terre à son original du forêt ‘krummholz’, dominé par le chêne rouge et d’autres arbres décidues. Des falaise grès sont plus que 10m en hauteur et peuvent fournir l’habitat convenable pour les espèces qui creusent leurs nids, comme le menacé, l’Hirondelle de rivage, listé sur la Loi sur les espèces en péril du Canada, en plus que le Martin-pêcheur d’Amérique. La zone plage-dune en dedans et immédiatement à côté du coin sud-est du propriété est identifiée comme l’habitat critique pour le Pluvier siffleur qui est une espèce en voie de disparition sur la liste de la Loi sur les espèces en péril du Canada.

« La côte littoral multicolore de l’Î-P-É est dynamique et sert comme une frontière sauvage et naturel entre la terre et la mer. Notre aptitude de retenir des poches de côte dans un état naturel contribue directement à un écosystème plus sain qui peut fournir pour la faune et des personnes loin dans l’avenir. »

Penny’s Point est nommé après la mère à Tom Welch, qui a fait don de la terre. Elle était reconnu affectueusement comme ‘Penny’. L’amour de sa famille pour la faune à Î-P-É a fleuri depuis des décennies quand ils sont venus chaque été pour les vacances, commençant dans les cinquantaines.

Comme un jeune, Tom et ses frères et sœurs s’amusaient de ramper dans la forêt côtière qui existait avant que la terre a été défrichée pour l’agriculture. De haut, ils ont regardé des phoques qui bronzaient sur les barres de sables à marée basse à Rollo Bay.

« Penny aurait été ravie de savoir que le promontoire littoral est maintenant protéger pour toujours. On a passé des années voyager à Fortune et elle aimait tellement l’endroit. Elle était concernée pour la menace de développement depuis que nous avons observés directement l’endroit autours être développer pour les décennies. » – Tom Welch

Devenir un fervent partisan de la conservation, Tom et sa marie, Anne Lambert, ont fondé Le Fond International de la Conservation du Canada (FICC) en 2007 après avoir remarqué que le Canada manquait une organisation caritative grâce auquel les Canadien(ne)s pouvaient conserver la nature tropicale et des habitats d’hiver pour les oiseaux migratoires en Canada.

Ce projet est possible grâce aux donateurs de terre, dons d’intendance généreux des habitants de l’Île, et de l’aide financière de la fondation ECHO, aussi bien que le Gouvernement du Canada à travers de la Programme de conservation du patrimoine naturel, qui est une partie des Fonds de la nature du Canada.

Citations supplémentaires

« En collaborant avec des partenaires comme Island Nature Trust et des propriétaires fonciers comme Tom Welch, Anne Lambert et Nancy Willis, nous protégeons les paysages naturels emblématiques canadiens de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, notamment les écosystèmes fragiles constitués de dunes littorales et d’escarpements côtiers. La réalisation de tels projets au pays contribue au rétablissement d’importantes espèces en péril, à la lutte contre les changements climatiques et à la concrétisation de notre objectif qui consiste à protéger un quart des terres au Canada d’ici 2025. » – L’honorable Jonathan Wilkinson, ministre de l’Environnement et du Changement climatique

« La protection des paysages emblématiques de l’Île, comme les dunes sur les plages et les escarpements côtiers de la pointe Penny, est une bonne nouvelle tant pour notre communauté que pour les espèces qui y vivent. Nous sommes très reconnaissants envers les généreux donateurs de terres et Island Nature Trust, qui ont rendu l’annonce d’aujourd’hui possible et qui font en sorte que la pointe Penny soit conservée pour les générations à venir. » – L’honorable Lawrence MacAulay, député de Cardigan

Les Faits Rapides

  • L’endroit principale de la propriété est la falaise côtière et dune. Il comprend 37 acres (15 hectares) avec 3,800 pieds (1,158 mètres) de façade littorale, dont 1000 pieds est la plage.
  • L’Écozone d’Atlantique Maritime est caractérisée par les forêts bois mixtes Acadiens (Wapan’ekati), les dunes de sable, et les îles côtières. Ces systèmes, combinées avec les eaux océaniques qui, durant l’été, sont les plus chaudes au Canada, sont des sites de récréations idéales.
  • Le site est un de deux appartenant à INT qui montre l’habitat essentiel pour les nids de Pluvier siffleur, une espèce en péril à Î-P-É.
  • Le Rollo Bay Wildlife Management Area est le 6ième plus gros endroit de conservation en Î-P-É, avec 526 hectares/1,300 acres de superficie.
  • La province de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard a fixé un objectif de protéger 7% des milieux naturels, ou 86,000 acres, par l’année 2020.
  • Fortune Bridge était, et continue d’être, une cimetière ancestral importante pour les Acadiens.
  • Pour les Mi’kmaq de l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Fortune Bridge a une importance culturelle, incluant la récolte des poissons (anguilles, truites, éperlans), oiseaux (canards et oies), plantes médicinales et décoratives, et crustacés (huîtres). En plus, l’utilisation traditionnelle de la terre comprend rassemblement des plumes et les baies, et les sites de camping.

Au sujet de

Island Nature Trust est une organisation caritative Canadienne non-gouvernementale basée sur des membres. C’est dévouée de conserver la terre à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard depuis 1979. Nous envisageons un réseau d’endroits naturels protégés à travers l’Î-P-É, soutenu par l’amour et générosité des habitants de l’Île aujourd’hui pour l’amusement des personnes et la faune dans le futur.

La Programme de conservation du patrimoine naturel Canadienne est un partenariat unique public-privé qui soutien les nouveaux milieux protégés et conservés par sécuriser des propriétés privées et des intérêts privés dans les propriétés. La programme est géré par la Conservation de la nature Canada (CNC). Les fonds fédérales investis dans la programme correspondent avec les contributions amassés par CNC et ses partenariats, Canards Illimités Canada et la communauté Canadienne des organismes de conservation. Les organismes de conservations privées et régionales, dont Island Nature Trust est une, accèdent une portion des fonds de la programme pour protéger les propriétés écologiquement significatif à travers le Canada.

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Les Contacts

Ben Russell
Chef de Communications
902-892-7513 or 902-566-9150

Tom Welch – Donateur de terres

Nancy Willis – Donateur de terres
902-367-0390 or 902-969-0084

MapleCross fund and Island Nature Trust ensure Lewes forest remains protected

Island Nature Trust launches search for new Executive Director

Lewes forest, in King’s County, is one of Prince Edward Island’s many natural treasures and it will now be protected forever thanks to the MapleCross fund and Island Nature Trust donors.

Ella Stewart is one of many Islanders who feels a deep connection with nature and has made a thoughtful decision to keep it in its natural state. She and her family, especially her late husband John, cared for the Lewes forest for decades, managing it well from the end of the second World War until John’s passing a few years ago. As the forest held so many wonderful memories, they wanted to see the natural space conserved. Worried that the land would be converted to blueberry fields, Ella was relieved when Island Nature Trust offered to buy the land and protect it forever.

MapleCross Upland Hardwood Natural Area

Thanks to a majority contribution from the MapleCross Fund and additional generous donations from 25 Islanders, Island Nature Trust was able to secure the Lewes property. This beautiful 109-acre property contains old growth upland hardwood Maritime Acadian – Wapane’kati forest, now rare in Prince Edward Island and the Maritimes as a whole. Mature eastern hemlock, white pine, sugar maple, red maple, American beech and yellow birch are present in an uneven aged mixed wood mosaic, providing tremendous value as a seed source for surrounding younger forests. Two headwaters streams begin within the property and support a diverse array of wildlife, including at least one pair of the threatened songbird, olive-sided flycatcher.

This forest also abuts the homestead property of former Premier and conservationist, J. Angus MacLean. The marriage of these two well-stewarded forest areas secures inter-connectivity and greater movement for wildlife in a larger forested block. Due to the dedication of a community of conservationists, the MapleCross Upland Hardwood Natural Area is now protected forever.

Executive Director Sought

As announced at its Annual General Meeting in September, Island Nature Trust is currently searching for a new Executive Director to focus more intently on organizational growth and development.

The Executive Director is the Trust’s senior staff position and team leader, with overall responsibility for all aspects of the organization‘s operations including high level fundraising to support land acquisition and stewardship, programs, staff, and finances, as well as direct accountability for member, donor and strategic partner relationships.

Quick Facts

  • The Island Nature Trust was created in 1979.
  • The Trust is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who provide the strategic direction and priorities for the organization.
  • The Trust is committed to environmentally and socially responsible management of natural areas on PEI.
  • The Trust is a key provider of technical, science-based knowledge on land stewardship and wildlife on PEI for landowners, governments, and partner environmental groups.

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