HAPPY CANADA DAY - The Nature Conservancy of Canada Celebrates by protecting a 160 - acre treasure in south-west Manitoba

WINNIPEG, June 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Every day, Canadians are stepping forward to help protect the natural areas that define our country.  We call them our force for nature.  In celebration of the many gifts from Canadians who care about our natural heritage, and in time for Canada Day,  the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announces the protection of 160 acres (64 hectares) of sand dune habitat

The donated property, a significant gift from a Canadian family that wishes to remain anonymous, is situated approximately nine miles west of the City of Brandon, within the Kemnay Sandhills. The Kemnay Sandhills are an excellent example of an intact sand dune system covering over 950 acres (385 ha).

The property is characterized by a series of hills with relief approaching 30-40 feet (9-12 metres) or more. The higher elevations support sandhill grasslands dominated by Bluestem and Spreading Juniper and the lower elevations of the property contain Aspen forest with a shrub understorey of hazel and choke cherry.

The Kemnay Sandhills are one of the few places in Manitoba where one can see the threatened Western Spiderwort, the Endangered Prairie Skink, Manitoba's only lizard, and many rare plants including Smooth Goosefoot and Hairy Prairie Clover. The region also supports several bird species that are at risk such as Sprague's Pipit and Baird's Sparrow. Elk, Moose and several other large mammals still roam this vast landscape.

Making this significant land donation to NCC while retaining a life interest, the family  will continue to use the property for the rest of their lives. This arrangement provides the family with peace of mind, knowing that the property and the natural heritage will be forever protected.

You can join with NCC and became a force for nature this Canada Day.

  • Stand up and be counted. Add your name to the growing list of Canadians who believe protecting native habitat and wildlife is critically important to our future.
  • Join NCC's Conservation Volunteers program. You can join friends, family and NCC experts at events throughout the year and help care for some of Canada's most important natural areas.
  • Make a gift to NCC. You can celebrate a loved one, friend, teacher, or perhaps a favourite Canadian species, or a beloved landscape by making a donation today.

Quotes

Ursula Goeres, Manitoba Regional Vice President:  "Today's announcement highlights our donor's dedication to conservation and the good stewardship of their land.  Their generosity has ensured the long term protection of this very special place for future generations."

Facts

  • The properties that are included in the Canada Day's announcements cover 7,870 acres (3,185 hectares) of natural heritage for all Canadians to enjoy. This is equivalent to 32 square kilometres. As a comparison, the City of Brandon covers 43 square kilometres.
  • For a complete list of NCC's 10 Canada Day announcements and the forces of nature behind them visit, www.natureconservancy.ca/Gifts2011.
  • The property sits within The Kemnay Sandhills which is one of the few places in Manitoba where you can see the Endangered Prairie Skink, Manitoba's only lizard, and many rare plants including Smooth Goosefoot and Hairy Prairie Clover
  • The region also supports several bird species that are at risk such as Sprague's Pipit and Baird's Sparrow.
  • The property is characterized by a series of intact sand dunes with hills approaching 30-40 feet (9-12 metres) or more.
  • Donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada deliver results you can walk on - 85% of donations go directly to protecting fragile landscapes in Canada.
  • Almost 1,200 volunteers contributed approximately 7,300 hours of volunteer work through the Conservation Volunteers program last year.

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2 million acres (800,000 hectares), coast to coast. To learn more visit: www.natureconservancy.ca

Stunning still photography available.
Interviews with volunteers, donors, NCC staff, experts and scientists available.
Check out our online newsroom for more updates at www.natureconservancy.ca/media.

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

For further information:

Ursula Goeres
Regional Vice President, Manitoba Region
Office (204) 942-4511
Cell (204) 297-2839
Ursula.goeres@natureconservancy.ca

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