Carissa Wasyliw carrying the Google Trekker at the Hicks property (Photo by NCC)

Carissa Wasyliw carrying the Google Trekker at the Hicks property (Photo by NCC)

Google Trekker to capture local conservation site

August 11, 2017
Edmonton, Alberta


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Google are teaming up again, bringing the Google Trekker back to the Edmonton area to photograph another local conservation site. 

Google Trekker helps give people around the world an up-close look at NCC’s conservation sites and a new way to explore them. Many conservation supporters love the outdoors, but are not always able to experience them directly. This form of virtual tour provides another avenue for them to see and experience NCC’s conservation work.

The Hicks Property, owned by NCC in partnership with the Edmonton and Area Land Trust (EALT), is situated within NCC’s Cooking Lake Moraine natural area. This region overlaps with the boundary of the internationally recognized UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve.

Conservation projects like Hicks add to the network of conservation projects happening on private land that support the core areas of the biosphere program within the Beaver Hills. The Hicks property is located approximately two kilometres south of Hastings Lake and three kilometres northeast of Ministik Lake Bird Sanctuary. This 149-acre (60-hectare) beautiful natural space is easily accessible from Edmonton and Sherwood Park, and features aspen forest, shrubland and wetlands.

The diversified landscape provides habitat for an abundance of wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, moose and red-tailed hawk. The wetlands on the property are home to numerous waterfowl, including American widgeon, lesser scaup and common goldeneye.

This year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada will bring Google Trekker across the country, from the Dutch Creek Hoodoos in British Columbia to Jean-Paul-Riopelle Nature Reserve in Quebec. NCC Alberta region’s Hick’s Property will be the first stop on the Trekker’s national tour.

NCC's Alberta staff will be using a 29-kilogram backpack-mounted camera. It has 15 lenses and shoots pictures every 2.5 seconds, capturing a 360-degree view of the landscape. Every image taken by the Google Trekker is assigned a GPS location. Google will knit together the photographs to create panoramic views of the route taken by the hiker. The photos will later be published in Google Maps so Google users may see some of the most stunning, diverse landscapes, from coast to coast.

High-resolution photographs of the Hicks property are available for your use here.


“The Hicks property is a great example of the type of land we are working to conserve in this area. The rolling hills, wetlands, upland and shrubland forest provide habitat for plenty of species of birds and wildlife, and it is just one of the several conservation efforts being made by NCC, EALT and other conservation organizations in the Cooking Lake Moraine natural area.”

-Carissa Wasyliw, Nature Conservancy of Canada Natural Area Manager – Northeast Alberta

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is excited to partner with Google again this year and allow everyone an opportunity to experience these properties digitally. This will hopefully inspire people and give them a better understanding of the places we are working to conserve, thanks to their support.”

-Bob Demulder, Nature Conservancy of Canada Regional Vice-president in Alberta.


-Other NCC visits this year with the Google Trekker include Dutch Creek Hoodoos in British Columbia, Prairie Smoke Alvar in Ontario and Jean-Paul-Riopelle Nature Reserve in Quebec.

-NCC’s partnership with Google began two years ago when six conservation properties were photographed across Canada, including Horseshoe Canyon in Alberta’s Badlands. Last summer, the Google Trekker visited Edmonton-area property Coyote Lake.

-Copyright on all assets collected belong to Google. Trekker is used to capture images in places that can’t be reached by the usual Google Street View vehicles.

-A biosphere reserve is an internationally recognized designation that acknowledges the ecological significance of a region and focuses on the multi-stakeholder approach to conserving the area. The Beaver Hills Biosphere Reserve is just one of 18 biospheres in Canada.

Learn More
Follow us on Twitter:  |
Find us on Facebook

- 30 -

Media Contact:

Carys Richards
Communications Manager
Alberta Region
Mobile: (403) 669.2894

Supporter Spotlight