Hand in hand

Waterton Park Front, AB (Photo by Kara Tersen)

Waterton Park Front, AB (Photo by Kara Tersen)

By Christine Beevis Trickett and Jensen Edwards

When snow melts atop the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, droplets flow and form the great rivers that nourish and connect our communities. Nature, after all, knows no bounds.

In southwest Alberta, tributaries tumble down from jagged peaks into rivers that weave east, through privately conserved working ranches and neighbouring national parks. Life here is protected for the long term, thanks to the vision of a former business executive and his family.

Beyond, the rivers widen as they reach open prairie, where they nourish grasses and the thirsty cows and bison that graze these conserved landscapes, protected by livestock producers who are empowered by the investment of a large, private foundation.

To the east, the great rivers then swell into the Great Lakes downstream. At their far reach, two landowners, so inspired by the provincially supported restoration efforts of the endangered oak savannah around them, donate their land, with the support of a government program, amplifying the impact of local conservation efforts.

Nearby, an insurance firm teams up with conservationists to fund investment in finance tools to protect wetlands. Here, the water turns salty and is absorbed by the red sand and wetlands of an offshore island near PEI. This is where conservationists and the local Indigenous community, connected by a love of the land, are putting Reconciliation into action.

Across these ecosystems, nature is bound together by migrating birds, drifting plant seeds, ranging mammals and flowing water. And just as each one plays a role in the balance of biodiversity, so too do we. Nature needs us all to ensure its protection, now.

For six decades, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has collaborated with and mobilized individuals, communities, businesses and governments to achieve significant results. NCC brings together people who share a common purpose: to build a thriving world with nature.

Continue reading in our interactive story map that takes you across the country with examples of what can happen when people from different walks of life  work together to put nature first.

This story originally appeared in the winter 2023 issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine. To learn more about how you can receive the magazine, click here.

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