The three crucial habitats are Columbia Lake  North Wetlands, Meteor Lake Wetlands, and Saturn Island 

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is giving an end-of-the- year push on its crowdfunding campaign to raise $155,000 needed to protect three ecologically-valuable properties containing 825 acres of sensitive habitat and ecosystems. A campaign that started in November with an end-of-the-month deadline has been extended to December 31 in an effort to conserve theses crucial habitats which provide habitat to at-risk and endangered plant and animal species, while also providing natural solutions to the climate crisis, such as carbon absorption.

Saturn Island and Metro Lake Wetlands are the other two crucial habitats that The Nature Trust of BC is trying to purchase. More information on these two properties and the amounts they need raised can be found on their website below.

“The support from donors this past year has been awe-inspiring. The importance of conserving these rich and vibrant ecosystems is immense. Climate change and biodiversity loss have a crippling effect on our world. By helping us conserve these crucial parcels of land, donors are helping us create a natural solution for climate change, while helping us protect at-risk wildlife for generations to come,” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO.

The Columbia Lake North – Wetlands located in our Columbia Valley near the headwaters of the Columbia River, are 165 acres of wetland and rare riparian ecosystems with much old-growth forested area. Located within a bio geoclimatic zone of conservation, it’s designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar). There are only 37 Wetlands like it in Canada with three of them being in B.C. The Columbia Lake North – Wetlands provide natural and important benefits to the climate such as water purification, groundwater replenishment to water reservoirs, and flood control. It is also home for several species of waterfowl, such as the common goldeneye, trumpeter swan, and American wigeon. Conserving the Columbia Lake North – Wetlands protects at-risk and endangered species like the blue-listed great blue Heron, the red-listed American badger, the bank and barn swallow and common nighthawk; all are threatened under the Special At-Risk Act (SARA). It is also a habitat for the red-listed California gull and the western painted turtle which are a special concern under SARA. To ensure the protection and purchase of The Columbia Lake North Wetlands $70K is still needed.

“Whether it’s peatlands or riparian wetlands, these ecosystems not only provide haven for wildlife, but they also absorb carbon, control flooding and provide a myriad of other benefits,” said Lament. “Protecting these vital properties helps us protect our planet and the ecosystems within.”

The Nature Trust encourages those still looking for a unique holiday gift this season to consider making donations in a loved one’s name.

“December is a popular time for giving so it felt like the perfect month to offer sustainably-minded folks a packaging-free and truly sustainable alternative to traditional gifts,” said Lament. “Land conservation is integral to the wellbeing of our planet. Ensuring that these beautiful and ecologically-rich properties are flourishing for generations to come is at the heart of what we do. Conservation goes hand-in-hand with mitigating climate change and increasing our resilience to climate related disasters as well. We think this would be a meaningful gift to those who love nature and the incredible wildlife within our province. It is the gift that keeps on giving because the benefits of conservation create a ripple effect throughout the years.”

 All donations and which property you would like to see your contribution go to can be made by going to The Nature Trust of BC at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/.

“We cannot protect these properties without the support in the form of donations,” said Lament. We are committed to raising the funds needed for these three properties and we owe the progress we’ve made thus far to the generosity of our donors.”