Nature Conservancy of Canada
Engaging Communities in Natural Area Stewardship
The Engaging Communities in Natural Area Stewardship project was designed to connect and train local volunteers to care for Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) Natural Areas throughout PEI, in their communities. Together we achieved our goals to improve wildlife habitat through the removal of threats to wildlife, such as marine debris on shorelines, and developed a comprehensive list of species that exist on the reserves, to best protect and management the habitat.
NCC worked with partners and the community to engage 43 volunteers in three work day events. In July 2019, NCC held a bioblitz on our nature reserve in Kingsboro. During the bioblitz, our team of volunteers identified a total of 186 species on our new Camilla and Melvin MacPhee Nature Reserve, including two listed species at risk (Canada Warbler and Eastern Wood-Pewee) and seven rare/uncommon (S2-S3) species. In August, we held two separate shoreline clean-ups at both our Percival River and Murray Harbour nature reserves. A total of 1778 kg of marine debris was collected during these events, and our efforts were shared with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup network. The results of these events were communicated to the public in three media stories.
In addition to hosting our conservation volunteer events, NCC worked with five of our current property stewards, acquired five new property stewards, and piqued the interest of three potential property stewards for a number of our nature reserves. We trained our land stewards, and all were invited to attend a group steward training day that was held in May to learn field skills. Four nature reserves were monitored by volunteers and NCC obtained steward reports from their property visits, and 12 issues were found and dealt with such as garbage, signs, and ATV use. By increasing volunteer capacity, we can increase the health of the wildlife habitat. Not only are more people monitoring the lands, we can also respond to issues more quickly, collect data for ongoing property management, and have more voices for conservation in the local community.