Island Nature Trust
Protection of Upland Hardwood & Riparian Forest as Ecological Gifts
Island Nature Trust's vision for a network of connected, protected natural areas is progressed largely through the acquisition of ecologically sensitive lands. We are so fortunate in Prince Edward Island to have the support of the broader community, many of whom steward their land using ecological best practices. A few make the thoughtful and most generous decision to donate land for protection in perpetuity. The Gillespie and Buote families donated Ecological Gifts of land to INT in the fall of 2020, in the Indian River and New Glasgow areas. The Wildlife Conservation Fund provided the resourcing needed to support INT staff as they helped these two families through the Ecogift documentation process. Biological inventories of properties were conducted to assess their ecological integrity, while appraisals of market value were commissioned to satisfy the federal accounting requirements of the Ecogift program.
Riparian forests, as are present in both protected properties, support some of the greatest diversity of wildlife in the Maritimes. The properties donated to INT occur in watersheds with low proportions of formally protected lands. The stewardship of these new natural areas by INT over the coming decades will ensure that aquatic and terrestrial wildlife will retain access to healthy, robust habitat. Mature trees- white pine and red maple in Indian River, and eastern hemlock, yellow birch and sugar maple in New Glasgow - can continue to act as legacy trees, producing seed for the next generations of Acadian forest in the surrounding area. Future generations of Islanders will continue to benefit from the services provided by these healthy forested lands forever.