The BC Parks Foundation has received the single largest donation in its history.
The foundation has received a major boost in its efforts to acquire and preserve land for future generations from a gift of $14.5-Million dollars by the Age of Union.
Lightspeed Commerce founder and Executive Chair, environmental activist Dax Dasilva launched Age of Union, a non-profit environmental alliance, in 2019 with a pledge of $40-Million and debut projects in five countries.
Dasilva says BC Parks Foundation does an amazing job with its ambitious conservation strategy and they wanted to make one of the largest gifts to the foundation to help it protect threatened ecosystems from future development.
The foundation’s French Creek Estuary fundraising project will receive $1-Million of the alliance’s gift.
The total cost of the land to be purchased is over $5-Million dollars.
The property owners have agreed to donate part of the parcel, the Regional District of Nanaimo has committed $400,000, and local groups such as the Friends of French Creek Society, have raised about $200,000.
BC Parks Foundation began raising the remaining three-hundred thousand dollars in February and currently needs about $192,000.
Dasilva says the French Creek Estuary was at the top of the list because it’s an important habitat for thousands of eagles that live there year-round or migrate from Alaska each winter.
The eagles rely on tall mature trees that are buffered from human activity.
The estuary is part of the Snaw-naw-as Nation territories and is home to 180 other species, including 19 species at risk, including, herons, marbled murrelets, northern red-legged frogs, western toads, and Townsend big-eared bats, along with beavers, owls, and cougars.
It’s also home to 150-year-old Coastal Douglas fir, as well as Western Red Cedars, both of which are facing the threat of extinction.
Dasilva says there’s plenty of awareness about global warming and climate change, but our actions will be what inspire people to do their part and help make a difference.
“When people see action, when they see folks donating to conserve our natural spaces to protect species, then everybody gets an injection, and a shot of hope, and everybody can get involved at every level.”
He encourages people to donate to the BC Parks Foundation and other environmental causes.
Dasilva says they “hope to preserve this land for generations to come and inspire others to take similar action both locally and around the world.”
Another project that will receive funding from the Age of Union gift is the Pitt River Watershed in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, an important sanctuary for salmon, elk and other wildlife.
BC Parks Foundation CEO Andrew Day says the funds are from a group that’s inspiring British Columbians and Foundation supporters from around the world to help create sanctuaries for threatened wildlife, fight climate change, and improve human health.
Dasilva was born and raised in Vancouver and took part in protests against the logging of old-growth forests in Clayoquot Sound as a teenager.
He says, “it’s incredibly important for me to see through necessary conservation work to protect the province’s precious land.”
In the next few months, the Age of Union Alliance and BC Parks Foundation will announce other locations in BC where funding will be directed.