The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has a rare opportunity to protect a 640-acre (260-hectare) property neighbouring Alberta's capital city. In 1974, five families bought Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area — a parcel of land bordering Edmonton near the Devonian Botanic Garden. For 40 years the families cared for the land, protecting important habitat for moose and numerous other species.
The five ownership families have generously offered to sell Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) for half the asset value. Their vision is to ensure that the land is conserved for our province; particularly for our children. Max Berretti, Co-owner of the property, explains his motivation behind the project:
"It is so important that we protect as much of the wild spaces as we can; not just for us, but for everything that lives here,” says Berretti. “When I came to Canada 55 years ago, I fell in love with the wild spaces here. They make this country so unique and so special."
Max Berretti flyfishing at Bunchberry Meadows (Photo courtesy Antonella Bell)
The campaign to conserve Bunchberry Meadows
Over the years Bunchberry Meadows has remained intact. But the surrounding lands and the city of Edmonton have undergone significant changes. Natural spaces in and around Edmonton continue to be developed. It’s increasingly difficult for city dwellers to find open green spaces to enjoy a sunny afternoon, or teach their children about the outdoors.
The campaign for Bunchberry Meadows was officially launched in Edmonton on May 21, 2015. Since then, Edmontonians have stepped up in support so that this special community amenity can be created.
Urban development on this property would mean the loss of habitat for many plant and wildlife species, and the loss of a wonderful space in which Albertans and all Canadians can reconnect with nature.
In June 2016, the Bunchberry campaign was closed sucessfully. NCC willl open Bunchberry to the public in the fall of 2016 as a natural retreat for everyone to enjoy.
The Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT) has become a significant and important partner on the Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area by making a $1.5-million commitment to our campaign. Going forward, NCC and EALT will collaborate on the ongoing management of Bunchberry, including conducing wildlife species inventories, installing bird boxes and hosting public volunteer activities to steward the site.
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How you can help support the ongoing stewardship
The campaign to raise funds for the purchase of Bunchberry is complete, but there will be ongoing stewardship costs. Any funding to keep this land connecting children and families with nature they can explore would be greatly appreciated by NCC and all Canadians.
NCC is a registered charity and all donations over a certain amount are eligible for a valuable tax receipt (in some cases tax receipts will be worth half of the donation).
For more information
Media inquiries: Carys Richards (403.515.6861) firstname.lastname@example.org
Get involved: Andi Romito (587.597.2015) email@example.com
Great blue heron (Photo by Karol Dabbs)
Bufflehead duck (Photo by Karol Dabbs)
Moose in winter (Photo by Thomas Drasdauskis)
Children walking in the woods (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)
Family at Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)
Birdwatching, AB (Photo by NCC)
Goldfinch (Photo by Karol Dabbs)
Exploring Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)
Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area (Photo by Kyle Marquardt)