Photo courtesy Libby Gunn, Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT.ca)
Islands Trust Conservancy
Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) has received a $6,000 Opportunity Fund grant from Islands Trust Conservancy to help them meet an overwhelming demand from islanders wishing to take action to care for nature on Gabriola Island.
The Opportunity Fund grant will support GaLTT’s booming Nature Stewards Program. Since launching the program in 2021 GaLTT has received a hugely positive response from Gabriola residents.
Almost 100 acres have been conserved by dozens of private landholders through voluntary pledges to keep the trees and protect habitat on at least 30 percent of their properties. “Home of a Wildlife Friendly Garden” signs and signs about habitat conservation are popping up around the island. With the ongoing support of the Islands Trust Conservancy and partners, GaLTT hopes to secure 350 acres of habitat pledges by the end of 2023.
“Supporting voluntary action and programs like these on the islands is critical to the success of conservation in the Salish Sea,” says Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “We are happy to be able to support the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust and hope this support contributes to their continued success on Gabriola.”
“Many landholders are already champions of nature conservation on their land, from larger acreages to less than half-acre parcels,” says Ken Gurr of GaLTT. “We want to acknowledge everyone for their efforts, and ask all islanders to conserve as much of their properties in a nature friendly state as possible. We all know this decade is pivotal for so many global issues, and our local efforts will feed into the huge international movement to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030.” Residents and property holders on Gabriola who are interested in learning more about this program are encouraged to visit www.galtt-naturestewards.com or fill out the contact form for a site visit at www.galtt-naturestewards.com. Currently only 12% of land in the Gabriola Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values.
More than 65% of lands on islands in the Salish Sea are privately owned – meaning that individual landowners’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.