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.”
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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.
Website article: https://islandnaturetrust.ca/campaign_success/
Saving Our Island campaign: https://islandnaturetrust.ca/patchwork/
Ben Russell – Communications Manager
Island Nature Trust