By Cathy Keddy
Starting to think about Christmas shopping? This year keep it simple – give the gift of life. Be the first person to give your friend of family member a home for a wild turtle, frog or songbird!
Here are three local initiatives where you can give the gift of land – and a fourth if you would like your gift to be somewhere warm with even more birds:
- Help Ontario Nature buy a new nature reserve near Gananoque, Ontario. This reserve will protect rare species like Cerulean warblers, flooded jellyskin lichen and grey ratsnakes. And as a bonus, this land expands a corridor used by wolves and moose. The cost is $375 for one acre, $190 for half an acre <ontarionature.org/gananoque>.
- Help the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust protect wild land in perpetuity. MMLT is protecting wild land in eastern Ontario. Their properties provide wild places for species including Blanding’s turtles, scarlet tanagers, gray tree frogs and flying squirrels. More properties will be added soon. The MMLT Sustainability Fund provides money to protect existing acreage, while the Land Acquisition Fund provides money for, well, land acquisition. Help them get started on a new property. If you have land you would like to see preserved in a wild state forever, consider getting in touch with MMLT and discussing a direct donation or a conservation easement on the property <mmlt.ca>.
- Help the Nature Conservancy of Canada buy a new nature reserve in Prince Edward County on the north shore of Lake Ontario. This reserve at Ostrander Point will protect rare coastal habitats including alvars as well as nesting areas for whip-poor-wills and many migratory birds. The cost is $184 for 1000 square feet <natureconservancy.ca>.
- Help the Rainforest Trust buy Montane Cloud Forest in South America. Expand the El Dorado nature reserve on the Caribbean shore of Columbia. It has large numbers of rare species including a small rodent called the Santa Marta Toro and the Santa Marta harlequin frog. Rainforest Trust protects land through designations, purchases and land titling to local consevation groups and Indigenous communities. Every project is tailed to the needs of that site. Their cost is $77 per acre <rainforesttrust.org>. This year give a wild home for a wild creature!