Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Atlantic Region founding chair Bill Jones receives honorary doctorate from UNB
William M. Jones, a long-time conservationist who helped establish the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in the Atlantic Region, has received an honorary doctor of science degree from the University of New Brunswick as a philanthropist, businessman and conservationist. As the founding chair of NCC’s first Atlantic Region office in Fredericton in 1998, Jones has had a huge impact on the organization, which to-date has helped protect 74,000 acres (29,947 hectares) of wildlife habitat and ecologically significant sites in the four Atlantic provinces.
Jones served on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s national board from 1991 to 2000, was the Atlantic Region's founding chair from 1998 to 2000 and is still actively involved with NCC’s Atlantic Regional Board. Through his unwavering commitment, Jones has raised significant funds for NCC, contributed countless hours of volunteer time and assisted in the protection of thousands of acres of land.
In his role with NCC, Jones championed the conservation of key shorelines at Johnson’s Mills near Dorchester in the early 1990s. NCC’s Johnson’s Mills Shorebird Interpretive Centre has since become an internationally recognized protected area for migratory birds and several species of endangered birds. Jones helped start the conservation of the Musquash Estuary near Saint John, the last remaining fully functioning estuary in the Bay of Fundy, and now NCC’s largest nature reserve in Atlantic Canada. Jones has also worked in Grand-Barachois in southeast New Brunswick, Grand Manan and Pennelton Island, encouraging people to donate private lands for permanent conservation.
An engineer by training, Jones is president and owner of Maple Leaf Homes in Fredericton. He served on the Premier’s Round Table on Environment and Economy in New Brunswick and was involved in the provincial government’s Protected Natural Areas program. Last year, Jones received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Land Conservation. For more than 40 years, Jones has also volunteered with the YMCA at both the local and national levels, including as president of YMCA Fredericton, and founder and president of its endowment fund. In 2013, he was awarded YMCA Canada’s highest award: the YMCA Fellowship.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private 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 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. The Nature Conservancy of Canada has conserved 74,000 acres (30,000 hectares) in the Atlantic provinces.
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