INT is celebrating spring by teaming up with PEI liquor stores for the ‘Let’s Protect Our Island’ campaign

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.

After a one-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘Lets Protect Our Island’ collaboration between Island Nature Trust and the PEI Liquor Control Commission is now entering its fifth year. The campaign running 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.

Participating products are marked with the Island Nature Trust logo, such as this brand new ‘Beacon Blonde’ beer by Gahan.

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. 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 the Trust to maintain and steward our trails in addition to hosting education and engagement opportunities. As we 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.

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.

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. The commitment doesn’t end when Island Nature Trust acquires the land but continues in the form of wise and active stewardship of those protected natural spaces.

We and our children directly benefit from the ecological services these natural areas provide with clean water, clean air and an environment resilient to climate change. As our property portfolio increases so do our costs for responsible land management, public trails stewardship, effective communication with Island communities and education and collaboration with user groups.

“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

INT logo’s will be adorned on signage situated on the liquor store aisles of participating products.
Queen Street liquor store manager Helena Villard shows INT Executive Director, Bianca McGregor an example of a popular participating productWoodbridge’s range of wines.

Announcing the Trust’s first Honorary Patron

From left: Treasurer – Rob Mackay, Vice President – Jan Matejcek, President – June Jenkins Sanderson, Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry, Secretary – Bruce Craig, Director of Conservation – Megan Harris and Executive Director – Bianca McGregor.

An interview with Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island: Antoinette Perry

By Ben Russell – Communications Manager

The Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island Antoinette Perry is a respected educator from Tignish and a proud Acadian. Before her retirement from teaching in 2009, she enjoyed a distinguished 32-year career at Tignish Consolidated Elementary School where she taught Music and French. She serves as an organist and church choir director at St. Simon and St. Jude Parish and as a co-coordinator of the Parish’s Summer Organ Recital Series.

Becoming an honorary patron to Island Nature Trust made perfect sense to the Honourable Antoinette Perry. She recalls that from a young age ‘environmental consciousness’ was instilled in her while growing up in a small Tignish community. There she was exposed to a sentiment that resonates with her to this day – to respect each other and the environment we live in.

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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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Penny’s Point Natural Area: Iconic coastline saved from development in Fortune Bridge

This beautiful yet fragile coastal headland 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.

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Indigenous Knowledge: The Key to Conservation for PEI

Abegweit or Epekwitk / Prince Edward Island has been afflicted by climate change for centuries by mismanagement of land and resources, as have many other Islands in the world.  

With rising sea level, inadequate provincial adaptive measures, and 90% of the land on Epekwitk being privately owned, the ill-effects on the land are hard to ignore. It is up to the Province, the Abegweit Mi’kmaq First Nations, and small conservation groups like Island Nature Trust and watershed groups on Epekwitk, to not only conserve, but to sustain the biodiversity on this unique land.   

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AGM 2020 REVIEW: Hon. J. Angus MacLean Natural Areas Award & New Board Members Announcement

Plastic Not Fantastic: Join Us For Fall Beach Clean-ups

Of all trash, plastic rubbish has the greatest potential to harm the environment, wildlife and humans. It can be found floating at the surface, suspended in the water column, or on the bottom of almost all water bodies. It is transported by rivers to the ocean, where it moves with the currents, and is often eaten by birds and fish, concentrating toxic chemicals in their tissues, and filling their stomachs, causing them to starve. Plastic aquatic debris is much more than a mere aesthetic problem.

Please help us to remove this harmful plastic and other items of rubbish from our coastline. INT is targeting two properties in September. The first clean-up on Thursday 10th is the recently acquired Percival River property in Alaska. It is one of the least developed watersheds in PEI and the largest unbroken ribbon of saltmarsh in PEI – host to a rich and diverse habitat for vulnerable wildlife.

The other location is Poverty Beach in Murray Harbour with a clean-up scheduled to take place on Thursday 17th. Poverty Beach is home to the valiant but endangered Piping Plover. With several stresses experienced already by this well-loved bird species such as human encroachment, predation and climate change, let’s give our Piping Plover friends – now migrated South for the winter – a rubbish free nesting home ready for their return next Spring.

Please spread the word as we need all the help we can get!

Thank you for your support – The Island Nature Trust Team

#givingbacktonature