By Dianna Stenberg, The Land Conservancy (TLC) Deputy Executive Director
This year, The Land Conservancy (TLC) is celebrating its 25th year of protecting critical ecosystems and vital habitats throughout B.C. Today the organization protects 250 conservation covenants covering a combined 12,868 acres, and a further 2,784 acres of habitat where we manage and hold title. What an accumulation of efforts and achievements!
In my time with the organization, I have witnessed expansion and restructuring, struggles and brilliant successes. I’ve often wondered at the truly astonishing accomplishments individuals can achieve when they come together with a shared purpose. Feats like partnering with the WSÁNE? Leadership Council on the historic SIS¢ENEM, the acquisition of 140 acres of contiguous wetlands and wildlife corridors in the Clearwater River Valley, or the continual, year-round stewardship of the publicly accessible Abkhazi Garden are only made possible by the support of thousands behind us.
Our recently registered conservation covenant on Gospel Rock is no exception; the covenant creation process included input from a variety of community groups, local government, and conservation organizations. By joining together, we create a strong, more resilient team and encourage a more diverse outlook on the impacts and importance of conserving such important ecosystems.
While many of our protected sites have communities behind them to support their ongoing stewardship, not all sites are so fortunate. These sites require greater resources from organizations like TLC to encourage ecosystem health in the face of ongoing external threats including climate change. To ensure that sites protected over the last 25 years without support for ongoing stewardship receive the necessary resources they require to maintain their ecological value, TLC’s Board of Directors have launched a challenge to British Columbians to raise $250,000.
“To celebrate TLC’s 25th anniversary of conservation, the Board of Directors and I are challenging those who respect and appreciate the more than 250 ecosystems and habitats that TLC protects to support our land trust by making a gift this year toward their continued protection,” said Jeff Sheldrake, Chair of TLC’s Board of Directors.
Funds raised toward the 25th anniversary matching opportunity will contribute to a newly created endowment fund for the ongoing stewardship of our most sensitive ecosystems and habitats. The 25th Anniversary Endowment Fund, held by the Victoria Foundation to provide long-term, sustainable support, was launched with $100,000 in gifts from TLC donors.
“With a focus on sustainable methods of protecting B.C.’s biological diversity, TLC protects new projects in partnership with other organizations and with ongoing fiscal responsibility in mind,” said Cathy Armstrong, TLC Executive Director. “Our 25th anniversary of conservation is a wonderful opportunity for TLC supporters to support the protection our most precious sites in perpetuity.”
I look forward to witnessing the next chapter in TLC’s history and doing my part to see our many conservation projects underway coming to fruition.