Buffalo Pound conservation effort receives incredible funding boost
Nature knows no boundaries, and the same can be said for Canadians’ love of nature and support of conservation efforts. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced an exciting opportunity that will see MapleCross Fund match the public’s donations dollar for dollar to help complete NCC’s Buffalo Pound project.
Isobel Ralston and Jan Oudenes, from Ontario, are the founders of the MapleCross Fund and are avid nature lovers. Despite having never been to Buffalo Pound Lake, the couple is thrilled to be supporting a conservation project that has such an incredible, lasting impact for nature and the surrounding communities.
“We are excited to be working with NCC to help preserve environmentally sensitive areas across Canada. Buffalo Pound became of special interest when we recognized its significant ecological importance to both wildlife and the nearby communities,” says Isobel Ralston, MapleCross Fund. “Reflecting upon our visits to Saskatchewan, which helped guide our decision, we recalled a surprise sighting of pronghorns, a most magnificent sunset and a full moon rising over a great expanse of prairie. Today, we have every confidence that Saskatchewanians and Canadians alike, will now rise to our challenge and join us in partnership by matching our pledge to help conserve this incredible landscape for the long term.”
NCC announced in March that after two years of working on the Buffalo Pound project, over 85 per cent of the funds had been raised, with $525,000 still needed to complete it. The announcement of the dollar-to-dollar matching funds from MapleCross Fund means the project is now even closer to completion.
“We are so grateful for this incredible support from MapleCross Fund” says Cody Barnett, director of development and communications for NCC. “We know that Canadians are facing extraordinary circumstances right now, and every donation, regardless of the amount, is so meaningful to us as a charity. The continued support we are receiving shows how much Canadians love and support nature and conservation. Having each dollar matched by MapleCross Fund means that we can protect the area around the north shore of Buffalo Pound Lake faster. Completing this project will ensure that the lands here remain in a natural state for the long term for people to enjoy and experience and for the plants and wildlife that live here.”
The Buffalo Pound conservation project, located 40 kilometres from Moose Jaw, consists of 866 hectares (2,140 acres) of native grasslands and seven kilometres of shoreline along the north shore of Buffalo Pound Lake. These grasslands help filter the drinking water for approximately one-quarter of the province’s population, including the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw and several surrounding communities. The area is also home to many plants and animals, as well as wildlife listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, such as Sprague’s pipit, bobolink, Baird’s sparrow, American badger and northern leopard frog.
NCC is working to ensure the Buffalo Pound area continues to provide quality drinking water for residents and safe habitat for endangered species. To complete this conservation project, NCC has launched a public fundraising campaign. People can help protect Buffalo Pound by donating today at ConserveGrasslands.ca,
- The not-for-profit, charitable land conservation organization has been working on the Buffalo Pound project for two years. NCC has raised over 85 per cent of the funds required to complete the project. MapleCross’s pledge to match funds, dollar for dollar, up to $262,500, will help carry the project over the finish line and save this piece of Buffalo Pound for the long term.
- The matching gift opportunity will run until June 15, 2020. To help conserve these native grasslands and the at-risk plants and animals that live there, donate today at ConserveGrasslands.ca.
- Native grasslands are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The Buffalo Pound property is in the Upper Qu’Appelle Natural Area, which is an important wildlife habitat corridor.
- This area is at risk for future development, as shorelines are in demand for recreation and industry. Conserving this important natural area can sustain a healthy ecosystem, including supporting recreation and economic needs. Keeping the province’s grasslands and lakes healthy benefits the people and wildlife who depend on them.
- Over the past 25 years, Saskatchewan has lost more than 809,000 hectares (2 million acres) of native grassland. Today, less than 20 per cent of native grassland remains in the province.
- Grasslands buffer water, sequester and store carbon, and for thousands of years have provided sustenance for humans. They are also critical stopover sites for migratory birds and provide habitat for waterfowl and imperilled species.
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