To celebrate the record-breaking success of last years Saving Our Island campaign, the Trust is launching a series of short videos revealing a birds-eye view and first glimpse of the natural areas acquired in 2021. The purchase of these ecologically rich properties was only made possible because of the generosity of Islanders.
Since April 2021, The Trust has nearly tripled its yearly acquisitions by securing 21 ecologically sensitive properties across PEI. In that time, 1,822 acres of natural area were secured. This continues an impressive growth trajectory, which has seen the 40-year-old Trust acquire over a third of its total natural areas within three years.
Through the Saving Our Island campaign – first launched in September 2021 – the Trust asked Islanders to help connect PEI’s patchwork landscape by either donating their land to Add A Patch or giving cash to Match A Patch, to see their contribution quadrupled by the Trust’s conservation partners. Funds raised allowed the Trust to continue its mission to strategically secure a corridor of natural areas across PEI. Lastly, Mend A Patch used cash donations to ensure the long-term stewardship of the Trust’s acquired natural areas.
1,304 acres were purchased by INT in 2021-22 and a further 518 acres donated thanks to the generosity of the Island community.
Ecosystem Services: A standout feature of these ecologically important acquired areas is the plethora of benefits they provide to Islanders, not just nature. Crucially, the carbon sequestration potential of large forest blocks, wetland and marshland present in recent acquisitions are a natural defence to the rising effects of climate change.
CORRIDORS OF CONNECTIVITY
The acquisitions, made possible from last years Match A Patch campaign, will all be protected in perpetuity under the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act and include:
- Wji’kijek – MapleCross Natural Area: This property is an expansion to the Crown Point Wji’kijek Natural Area in Alexandra and hosts coastal Krummholz forest and a freshwater marsh that once connected to Jardines bay. The parcel’s edge contains coastal bluffs that supports one of INT’s focus species-at-risk, the bank swallow. Crown Point is associated with considerable cultural signifigance. Wji’kijek translates to “the place where stumps are found.”
- MapleCross – Morell River Riparian Zone Natural Area: Comprising of three connective properties that are an addition to the many protected areas along the Morell River. This waterway has been recognized for its ecological and cultural significance, reflected with a 60-meter conservation zone along much of its length. These new parcels are a haven for songbirds and spring ephemerals that lie at the water’s edge.
- Midgell River Riparian Zone Natural Area: This is an addition to adjoining protected lands that make up the Martinvale – Corraville Wildlife Management Area. This headwater forest is dominated by mature black spruce, and supports a large number of rare species, including the nationally at-risk Eastern wood pee-wee.
- Nebraska Creek Riparian Zone Natural Area: This property is an addition to the Trust’s natural areas within the Miscouche bog region, which is known for rare species richness and carbon sequestration potential. Also within the parcel is lowland forest passing through Nebraska Creek and a coastal salt marsh that borders Grand River.
Island Nature Trust has just surpassed the 7,800-acre mark for protected natural areas and has a goal to acquire another 2,000 acres in 2022.
The Trust has developed conservation alliances with the Province of PEI and Ontario based, MapleCross Fund to relaunch the Saving Our Island campaign. Through these partners, we are excited to announce every dollar donated to the campaign will be tripled! Our goal is to raise $150,000, which will be matched by both conservation partners, allowing us to dedicate over $450,000 to Island land conservation.
Islanders can learn more about the campaign and donate online at https://islandnaturetrust.ca/patchwork/
Fundraising success for land acquisition targets: https://islandnaturetrust.ca/campaign_success/
An introduction to Ecosystem Services: https://islandnaturetrust.ca/introduction-to-ecosystem-services/
Ben Russell – Communications Manager
Island Nature Trust