PEI

Island Nature Trust sets big goal for 40th anniversary

The Island Nature Trust is marking 40 years of preserving P.E.I.'s wilderness, but it doesn't intend to spend the year celebrating or resting on its laurels.

Trust looks to boost land holdings by 25%

Included in the Island Nature Trust's target is making current pockets of land it holds larger, so the ecosystem is less fragmented. (Donna Giberson/Island Nature Trust)

The Island Nature Trust is marking 40 years of preserving P.E.I.'s wilderness, but it doesn't intend to spend the year celebrating or resting on its laurels.

The trust works by acquiring land in order to preserve it in its natural state in perpetuity. Over the last four decades it has acquired 1,600 hectares of land. By the end of the year it wants to round that up to an even 2,000.

"We've got some big dreams," said executive director Megan Harris.

Harris said the trust already has its eyes on the new 400 hectares it wants. Some are areas with high biodiversity, such as forested wetlands, and others are opportunities to expand in areas where they already have land.

The trust holds property both inland and on the shore. (Island Nature Trust)

"We'd love to just increase where we already have land to create a less fragmented landscape, and that really helps wildlife in that area," she said.

'We really need to look further'

Island Nature Trust will launch its drive to acquire the new land with a dinner and silent auction Friday night at the P.E.I. Brewing Company. With land identified, all that remains now is the fundraising required to purchase it. The dinner will also be the start of a new membership drive.

Forested wetland contains a high diversity of both plant and animal life. (Island Nature Trust)

Harris believes the goal of preserving land forever is an important one in today's society.

"We really need to look further ahead than where we're used to looking. We live now in a society that is very much about instant gratification, and this is kind of the opposite extreme of that," she said.

Preserving land in perpetuity is the opposite of instant gratification, says Megan Harris. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

"I think that it keeps us grounded, and it's also incredibly important in order to keep humanity, keep Canada, the way it is."

For tickets to the dinner you can send an email to admin@islandnaturetrust.ca.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Mainstreet

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