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Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

How conservation, a guitar from Rush’s Getty Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker’s shoes and rare wines are related

Jill and Steven at Hastings Wildlife Junction, ON (Photo by NCC)

Jill and Steven at Hastings Wildlife Junction, ON (Photo by NCC)

By Jill Murray-Dimic, senior development officer

It’s impossible to miss the effects of climate change across Canada. Extreme temperatures, wildfires, droughts and floods are becoming more common, with unpredictable weather impacting all of us. There is an urgent need for action and the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) mandate to conserve forests and other ecosystems is helping.

I find it soul-warming to see other organizations join with NCC, looking to be part of a hopeful solution — like Grapes for Humanity (GFH), an organization that raises funds to support climate change action, among other causes.

Through a unique virtual auction taking place from October 12-19, GFH is raising money to slow the pace of climate change and support NCC’s most ambitious project, the Boreal Wildlands, and other important causes.

In partnership with Waddington’s Auctioneers and Dymon Wine Cellars, GFH’s virtual auction features wine dinners and experiences, rare wines, a guitar donated by Rush’s Getty Lee and shoes from Sarah Jessica Parker. For the adventure-seeking, a trip to NCC’s Boreal Wildlands is also among the items up for bidding.

In August, I hiked at NCC’s Hastings Wildlife Junction, another outstanding example of forests and wetlands in southern Ontario, with Steven Campbell, auction co-chair and board member at GFH. His passion for the environment earned him an honorary doctorate from York University for environmental stewardship.

While walking through this beautiful forest, Steven shared how GFH recognizes the impacts of climate change on us all, including wine producers. He emphasized the need for action, telling me, “Every tree planted and every hectare protected is a step in the right direction.”

Last year, GFH raised $100,000 for NCC’s Hastings Wildlife Junction.

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC/Andrew Warren)

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC/Andrew Warren)

Mike Hendren, NCC’s regional vice-president for Ontario, shares my delight in again working with GFH this year. He told me that he’s thrilled the Boreal Wildlands project, the largest private conservation project ever undertaken in Canada, will be supported by GFH’s upcoming auction.

After a year of intense focus on Boreal Wildlands, it’s been so rewarding to see how excited others are about a project of this scale.

As I enjoy a glass of red wine on my back deck, I recall living in Paris years ago, exploring France’s wine regions and developing an appreciation for the craft of winemaking. I’m grateful for the work of Grapes for Humanity, who also love wine and are using that love to support conservation.

As Steven said on our recent hike, “We all have to do more to help our planet.”

To learn more about Grapes for Humanity, and the October 12-19 auction supporting NCC and other causes, click here.

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