Nature Conservancy of Canada celebrating 50 years in Atlantic Canada

As the NCC marks half a century in Atlantic Canada, the charity organization offers up this insight into its inspiration and achievements

Atlantic Canada is a special place to live, work and explore, with unique wild spaces, rare animals and plants found nowhere else in the world.

When nature thrives, so do people. Nature freely bestows us with recreational and tourism opportunities, clean air and water and protection from storm surges among other invaluable benefits. According to a recent Ipsos poll, 94 per cent of Canadians say that being in nature helps them relieve stress or anxiety, and 86 per cent agree nature is important to their mental health during the pandemic. Nine in 10 Canadians agree that we must invest in protecting, restoring and caring for natural spaces.

Nature conservation is a direct and immediate action toward lessening the effects of climate change and to preventing the loss of habitat and biodiversity. Taking proactive conservation measures for nature is key for the future of prosperous, healthy and sustainable communities. We need nature now more than ever, and nature also needs us.

For 50 years, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), with the help of its supporters, has conserved critical wilderness habitats near communities throughout Atlantic Canada. It all began in 1971, when Sight Point, NCC's first nature reserve in Atlantic Canada, was established within Cape Breton Island's Mabou Highlands. Today and forever forward, Sight Point will continue to thrive and flourish in its natural state.

As a charity, NCC aims to make our communities better by conserving and caring for natural green spaces. Our field work includes land management, forest restoration, combating invasive species, clean-up operations and proactive conservation measures. We achieve our goals through the help of many, including volunteers, student interns and partners.

NCC's Nature Destinations program invites you to take a journey through some of the greatest examples of Canadian nature and to connect one-on-one with nature. Experience a magical seaside landscape while hiking a coastal trail that outlines the dramatic and rugged cliffs of Gaff Point Nature Reserve. Accessible from Hirtle's Beach, just 30 kilometres from Bridgewater, the majestic headland is covered in conifer forest, heaths and grassy meadow. From this vantage point, you'll be rewarded with spectacular ocean views where sea birds, whales and seals can be spotted. The fairy tale fungi-covered landscape leaves you feeling refreshed from the sea's salty spray and mist.

Escape bustling city life at the Shaw Wilderness Park, located minutes from downtown Halifax. Walk in the shadows of towering trees where 40 species of birds live and nest. Listen to the peaceful call of loons, which carry clearly across Colpitt and Williams lakes. Come swim in the glistening lakes, hike the shoreline trails or visit the unique jack pine barrens with its exposed bedrock and granite boulders left behind by glaciers, and a view of the city.

Nature can feed your soul and improve your quality of life. When you support conservation in your community, you make it a better and healthier place for you, your family and your community. Visit https://naturedestinations.ca/ to learn more. Nature is our ally.

This year, NCC celebrates its 50th anniversary in Atlantic Canada with the announcement of the East Coast Nature Fund. With your support, sensitive areas where endangered species and rare plants are at risk will be identified. Your contribution is crucial to land conservation, trail and site maintenance, mentoring youth through internships, and so much more.

Take a stand for nature by donating to NCC's East Coast Nature Fund. Learn more and get involved by visiting https://donate.natureconservancy.ca/page/89501/donate/1

Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 14 million hectares coast to coast to coast. By investing in conservation, we are ensuring that our natural world remains a home for wildlife, a haven for recreation and a vital resource that cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Conservation highlights

We've conserved ecologically sensitive wilderness and coastal habitats throughout Atlantic Canada, including 16,800 hectares in Nova Scotia, 10,200 hectares in New Brunswick, 2,400 hectares in Prince Edward Island and 5,600 hectares in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We've protected habitat for 38 species at risk, including 16 threatened, 13 of special concern and nine endangered.

As well, we've established over 100 nature reserves in Atlantic Canada, including our largest site in New Brunswick's Musquash Estuary (2,200 hectares).

Through strong partnerships, NCC works to safeguard our natural areas so that our children and grandchildren will have the chance to enjoy them. To learn more, visit https://natureconservancy.ca/en/

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