Fish Lake Drain Parklands, Interlake, MB (Photo by NCC)

Fish Lake Drain Parklands, Interlake, MB (Photo by NCC)

Helping Lake Winnipeg

June 9, 2017
Winnipeg, Manitoba


Nature Conservancy of Canada marks Canadian Environment Week with the protection of 145 acres in Manitoba's Interlake Natural Area

To mark Canadian Environment Week, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is announcing an important conservation project near Lake Winnipeg.

The not-for-profit conservation group has purchased a 145-acre (59-hectare) site, located northwest of Gimli, in Manitoba’s Interlake Natural Area. The property is known as Fish Lake Drain Parklands and is a conservation priority for NCC. This property will assist in managing surface water and protect wetlands and floodplain habitat. In doing so, NCC will mitigate negative impacts on Lake Winnipeg downstream.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada recognizes the importance of the work being done in the Lake Winnipeg watershed, as it directly contributes to the health of Lake Winnipeg. Conservation activities include planning that focuses on securement of key lands and riparian areas, stewardship and restoration of floodplain (riparian) areas and wetlands. These activities are crucial to the natural environment and are also a key health factor for the communities and people of Manitoba.

This project is made possible thanks to the Hirsch family. Debby and Brian Hirsch were instrumental in this conservation project by generously providing funding to allow NCC to purchase this important property, as they wanted to see it protected. Debby grew up spending summers along the shores of Lake Winnipeg as did four generations of her family. When speaking with Debby, it’s clearly evident that she has a life-long love of Lake Winnipeg and the Gimli area.

When it came to deciding how the Hirsches wanted to make a difference, they turned to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Brian stated that “after doing our research into the organization, we realized the excellent fit between NCC’s mission and our desire to make a difference.”   

“It’s through the generous donations of Manitobans, families like the Hirsches and other key partners, that NCC is able to continue with its work protecting important natural areas, habitats and species for the benefit of all Manitobans“ stated NCC regional vice-president, Jeff Polakoff. “Canadian Environment Week is an excellent time for us to acknowledge those that make it possible for us to do conservation work necessary for today and for future generations.”


•    The Nature Conservancy of Canada has:
     o    completed more than 650 projects in the Lake Winnipeg watershed, encompassing more than 300,000 acres (121,400 hectares) of land;
     o    conserved more than 7,000 acres (2,830 hectares) of wetlands in Manitoba;
     o    secured approximately 125 kilometres of shoreline in Manitoba.
•    Lake Winnipeg is the 11th largest lake in the world, and the largest lake contained within a single province. 
•    The Lake Winnipeg watershed supports:
     o    thriving cities;
     o    approximately 17 million livestock;
     o    some of the richest farmland in the world; and
     o    some of the most ecologically important and threatened natural areas in Canada.
•    Canada shelters close to 10 per cent of the world's surface freshwater.

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Media Contact:

Christine Chilton
Office and Communications Manager
(204) 942-7416

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