By connecting our participants, through our programs, to local nature havens, we are creating an attachment to natural spaces and places and fostering future stewards of the land and waterways. For the success of creating long-lasting connections and change, it is vital that we align and work closely with organizations doing amazing environmental stewardship work. Two partners Power To Be has worked with in our programs to move this notion of stewardship and education forward is The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in Vancouver and Habitat Acquisition Trust in Victoria.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s only nationwide charity dedicated solely to the protection of our public land, ocean, freshwater and ensuring our parks are managed to protect the nature within them. Their vision is to protect public land and water through a series of parks and protected areas that provide incredible recreation opportunities, support communities, and shelter nature through climate change. They do this through engagement and campaigns, working closely with the park sectors and other partners running nature programs.
Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) is a regional land trust that conserves nature on south Vancouver Island. They envision a future where the full array of natural habitats on south Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands is healthy and conserved. HAT has several programs designed to help achieve their mission of conserving nature on south Vancouver Island. As HAT has mentioned publicly “There are many other people and groups working to protect our environment, and we do a better job when we work together”. HAT’s ‘Conservation Connection’ program brings people together to share ideas, projects, and knowledge to conserve our lands, restore endangered habitats and protect/prevent species from being at risk or extinct.
In our Vancouver program “CPAWS greeted us on program with warm, welcoming smiles. As we went out together on our hikes as two organizations on paper, we quickly became one collaborative group on the trails. The Power To Be community and the CPAWS team immediately began sharing stories and knowledge all the while with a humble respect for the environment that surrounded us led by CPAWS,” says Tameus from Power To Be. This was a great compliment of skills shared. Our staff and participants learned more about the land and Tori from CPAWS has communicated that CPAWS will “be bringing an equity and access lens into their campaigns so that guests exploring BC Parks will feel more included”. It is in moments like this, that we see the ripple effect of positive stewardship for people and nature.
In Victoria HAT has been instrumental with us discovering, uncovering, and protecting our land at Prospect Lake. The staff at HAT have taught our staff about the local history, habitats, and the seasonality of different ecosystems on site. Through our programs, they have supported our participants and staff to take part in restoration projects, identify species, and learn how to be stewards in their local parks and neighbourhoods. From learning about owl calls, to bat migration, they work closely with elders, knowledge keepers, biologists, and municipalities to weave the importance of our environment throughout all the sectors and communities.
We are very thankful to the great work that CPAWS and HAT are doing and feel grateful to work alongside the work they do to preserve, educate, and inspire the nature lover and protector in us all.