An Introduction to Ecosystem Services

By Janell Smith

What are ecosystem services and why are they important?

Ecosystem services are the benefits that nature provides to humans and are often categorized into provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural. You may be most familiar with provisioning ecosystem services – including food from forests, fields, and oceans; lumber for timber and firewood; drinking water; and even natural gas and oil. Other provisioning services include plants for clothing and materials, as well as natural medicines.

Regulating services provided by natural ecosystems include climate regulation, pollination, purification of water, erosion control, flood control, and carbon storage. Supporting services include the processes that often go unseen but are fundamental to human health, such as soil formation, nutrient cycling, and water cycling. Cultural services are the non-material benefits provided by nature through spiritual enrichment, inspiration, recreation, and aesthetic value (as you can see, ecosystem services are vital to our everyday lives!). As with all life, the categories of ecosystem services are interconnected. For example, fruit trees (provisioning service) rely on the soil (supporting service) and pollination (regulating service) to thrive.

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Trail Code of Care

Here at the Trust, we are ready to greet the long-awaited arrival of summer and we welcome you to venture out to one of natural areas. While we understand people’s need to immerse themselves in the natural environment, it is crucial to do so while being mindful of our responsibilities to Island wildlife.

Please read, download or print our Island Nature Trust – Trail Code of Care before venturing out to one of our natural area trails.

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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 McGregor, Executive 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.

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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