Next Creek forests on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Next Creek forests on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Lynda Griffiths (Photo by Nathan Elson)

Lynda Griffiths (Photo by Nathan Elson)

Lynda Griffiths

Home is where the heart is

Lynda Griffiths is doing her part to protect the place where she grew up.

There's a special place in southeastern British Columbia where snow-covered mountains nurture a vast expanse of protected inland temperate rainforest, creating a safe haven for wildlife great and small. Rising from the clear waters of Kootenay Lake to the bare alpine peaks of the South Selkirk Mountains, the Darkwoods Conservation Area anchors the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) work in the West Kootenay region. But up until recently, there was something missing from this globally significant conservation area.

Bassin versant Next Creek, C.-B. (Photo de Steve Ogle)

Bassin versant Next Creek, C.-B. (Photo de Steve Ogle)

The Next Creek watershed sits in the heart of Darkwoods and was not included in the original boundaries of the conservation area. Now, thanks to the support of a broad range of funders, including a gift from Lynda Griffiths, NCC has added the Next Creek lands to Darkwoods, expanding the property by 7,900 hectares (19,500 acres). This area holds a special place in Lynda’s heart, as she grew up half a province away in Vancouver.

“My partner and I spend every moment we can in nature,” says Lynda. “Our love of the outdoors is what first brought us together.” Lynda’s first gift to NCC was in 2008 — the same year NCC conserved Darkwoods. She has been a supporter ever since. “In Canada, we are just so fortunate for these wild spaces, and I feel it is absolutely critical to preserve them. There’s so much nature here that is still in its wild state.”

"I like to live my life with hope, and recognize the fact that Darkwoods exists today is a testament to that.”

Her donations have, for the most part, been in support of conservation work in her home province. “I went to a NatureTalks event in Vancouver where I first heard about the Next Creek project and its importance as a corridor for wildlife. Right then and there, I knew I was in.” Lynda is passionate about connecting people with nature and supporting natural areas Canadians can explore.

“I think people who spend more time in nature are more likely to protect it. The only way to engage people, especially young people, in conservation and inspire them to do their part is by taking them to the natural places we have left.”

Lynda and her partner are now retired and spend most of their time in and around the wild places they are working to protect. Her passion for nature may stem from afternoons fishing for salmon as a child, but has blossomed into a dedication to protecting the areas she has known her entire life. “I like to live my life with hope, and recognize the fact that Darkwoods exists today is a testament to that. I hope to inspire others to give to conservation and to spread the importance of preserving these places for the future.”

Lynda Griffiths was one of the conservation heroes who made our work in 2018-19 possible. Click here to read our annual report >

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