THE LAND CONSERVANCY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF CONSERVATION
Chair of Board of Directors issues challenge to British Columbians to honour the occasion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2017
Victoria, BC – The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) is celebrating its 20th year of protecting special places throughout British Columbia this month.
To celebrate the organization’s anniversary Frances Sloan Sainas, new Chair of TLC’s Board of Directors, is issuing a challenge to British Columbians.
“I’m challenging those who respect and appreciate the 250 habitats that TLC’s conservation covenants protect to support our land trust by sponsoring a covenant this year. I will personally match contributions up to $20,000 in honour of TLC’s 20th year in conservation,” said Frances Sloan Sainas. “To those unable to make a financial gift, I challenge you to donate your time. Reach out to find how you can use your unique skills and passions to make a difference in your backyard.”
TLC welcomes volunteers year-round to join their team in a variety of roles. Whether monitoring the land trust’s 250 covenants, removing invasive species to restore delicate ecosystems or gardening at Abkhazi Garden, each year TLC’s volunteers contribute thousands of hours to protecting special places.
TLC achieves its mission to protect and restore the biological diversity of B.C. for present and future generations through the use of conservation covenants. With a focus on sustainable operations with fiscal accountability and transparency, covenants are an economical and collaborative way to protect a wide range of ecosystems.
Financial sustainability is front and center in all aspects of the organization’s operations. TLC successfully emerged from creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in March 2017. A Supreme Court of British Columbia supervised restructuring process, CCAA allowed TLC to definitively resolve their debts while transferring properties to other conservation partners for their continued stewardship.
“The “silver linings” coming from this difficult time are the lessons learned. The entire organization has revised its thinking and approach,” said Briony Penn, a founding member of the organization and current Board Member. “The old approach of accumulating ownership of vast areas of land without adequate funding for ongoing maintenance and operations was not sustainable. Through partnerships and innovation, with the flexibility to adapt to new opportunities and ways of protecting land, TLC will be most useful in our mandate of protecting biodiversity.”
With a history of successful transfers to local governments and other groups, TLC plans to assist in the raising of funds for conservation projects with the intent for others to hold ownership. The emphasis on partnerships has been critical to the organization’s achievements.
In the last year TLC has combined efforts with other land trusts to provide training to more than 200 volunteers in the standards of scientific monitoring. Through such partnerships, TLC was able to train and offer hands-on learning opportunities to students from the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University.
Central to the success of the organization throughout its history has been its core membership base, the role of individual donors and hard-working volunteers.
“B.C. has many strong voices in ecological protection. TLC has been lucky to call so many of these champions our supporters and partners,” said Cathy Armstrong, TLC Executive Director. “Whether restoring Ayum Creek with the Greater Victoria Green Team or protecting the Sooke Hills with the Capital Regional District, our collaborations have enabled TLC to achieve such remarkable accomplishments these past 20 years.”
About The Land Conservancy of BC:
The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) is a non-profit, charitable Land Trust working throughout British Columbia. TLC’s primary mandate is to benefit the community by protecting habitat for natural communities of plants and animals. Founded in 1997, TLC is membership-based and governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors. TLC relies on a strong membership and volunteer base to help maintain its operations.
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TLC Executive Director