Last May, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Ontario Nature announced the expansion of their successful Volunteer for Nature (VfN) program, which matches volunteers with conservation projects. A grant from The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation will strengthen the original Ontario initiative and allow for a pilot of the program in Alberta beginning in January 2007, with a view to expanding the program in the rest of Canada in the future. “We are thrilled that our conservation volunteering program will continue to grow,” says Lisa McLaughlin, NCC Stewardship and Government Programs Manager. “Thousands of people have donated their time, energy and expertise to protecting significant habitat. Thanks to The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, volunteers can continue making their valuable contributions to conservation both in Ontario and in Alberta.”
“Over time, as habitats are restored and enhanced with the help of volunteers, rural areas benefit socially, environmentally and economically” says Tim Brodhead, President and CEO of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. The VfN program will continue to offer the hands-on conservation events that became popular with thousands of Ontarians over the last four years, such as rare species monitoring, habitat restoration, trail maintenance and native planting events. Starting in 2007, the expanded program will include a range of volunteer experiences, including working alongside experts in the field and new opportunities for conservation volunteering in partnership with NCC’s Alberta regional team.
Although the pilot program does not begin until January 2007, the Alberta regional team is recruiting volunteers for upcoming events. Albertans keen on volunteering this year can contact Samantha Hines-Clark at Samantha.Hines-Clark@natureconservancy.ca.
Click here to read more about the VfN program and its schedule of events.