Musquash Nature Reserve, NB (Photo by NCC)

Musquash Nature Reserve, NB (Photo by NCC)

Fondly remembering an NCC donor

Mr. Iwanicki, a resident of Fredericton, passed away recently

Jack Iwanicki, Nature Conservancy of Canada donor (Photo by University of New Brunswick Archives)

Jack Iwanicki, Nature Conservancy of Canada donor (Photo by University of New Brunswick Archives)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is paying tribute to Jack Iwanicki, an NCC donor in New Brunswick who contributed generously to help protect key natural areas.

The academic from the University of New Brunswick, along with his late wife Eileen, supported NCC for over twenty years.

As a valued donor, Jack Iwanicki made contributions that helped the Nature Conservancy of Canada in many areas of New Brunswick. The funds were used to acquire new wilderness sites at the Musquash Estuary west of Saint John, expand the protected area at the Johnson's Mills Shorebird Reserve near Dorchester and conserve the Chignecto Isthmus, a vital wildlife corridor that links New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Iwanicki loved his 30-plus years of teaching. He was a professor of philosophy at the Universtiy of New Brunswick, studied philosophy and law at the University of Toronto and law at the University of Indiana. Iwanicki authored several articles on the philosophy of law.

Linda Stephenson, NCC’s regional vice-president for the Atlantic Region, was a youngster when she first met Jack and Eileen Iwanicki. Eileen, who was a home economist, was a regular contributor to CBZ, the local CBC radio station. The Iwanickis were both avid amateur naturalists and they often discussed local bird sightings and additions to their “life lists.” 

“My Dad and Jack both spoke of 'going to camp,' as opposed to 'going to the cottage.' I think it was a reflection of the fact that both their camps had a minimal footprint, in recognition that nature was there first,” said Stephenson.

“In more recent years, I looked forward to Jack’s annual visit to the NCC office. As his mobility decreased, he visited NCC sites through staff stories and pictures. As an educator, I remember how keen he was to sponsor one of our staff, to attend an international land trust conference. He talked about the importance of life long learning and how it was an important investment,” she continues.

Originally from Ontario, Iwanicki was immediately struck by how New Brunswick was a "wonderfully treed province." He enjoyed camping in his youth and during a sabbatical in England, spent two months with his wife on a camping tour in Europe. He encouraged people to seek a better appreciation for their natural surroundings.

"All you have to do is see the [endangered] piping plover one time and it is delightful. If we didn't preserve and help them it would be so sad. Through the Nature Conservancy of Canada, people recognize that something has to be done," said Iwanicki.

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