What will your legacy be?
A thousand people will give you a thousand different reasons to love the Thousand Islands region. And we here at TIWLT are eager to help you preserve this land you love, for all the reasons you love it. We’re launching a Thousand Acre Challenge.
The Thousand Islands region is home to astounding natural beauty and invaluable natural function - but it faces challenges as never before in history. A changing climate now brings wild swings in weather season to season, year to year, never seen before. A growing population builds increasingly into the landscape’s treasured places. Globally, people demand that something be done to curb the crisis of climate change. Locally, we’re challenging you to protect the systems of nature that rein in drastic water level changes, clean your water, purify your air, and keep the brilliance of nature vibrant around us. It’s land you love.
The Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust has the tax and legal tools to help landowners conserve the forests and wetlands and waterways that are nature’s safety valves, and that are key to the well-being of the land you love. TIWLT has been working with willing landowners here for 27 years, helping them conserve over 5,000 acres. Does that sound like a lot, enough? Actually, it isn’t.
Taking a count of all of the places in the Thousand Islands region protected by parks and land trusts and the conservation authority, protected spaces are barely 5% of the watershed of the Thousand Islands. Canada’s target, as with all nations on Earth in a UN agreement, is 17% of the area of the country. Science tells us that the minimum for “enough” is actually 30%. Here, we’ve a very long way to go. And that’s a Challenge. 1,000 more acres – strategically located – has real meaning for all of us, and it’s a fresh start to protect the land you love, and what nature can deliver in services, aesthetically and functionally.
Floods, droughts, invasive species, winds, unrelenting heat, and freezing rain put an enormous burden on our natural systems. The protected forests, wetlands and marshes serve as our air filters, water purification system, hold flood water back in wet years, release water slowly in dry years. The monetary value of those services is in the millions of dollars, including property values. The Thousand Acre Challenge makes economic sense.
TIWLT conserves land today, for tomorrow – in fact, forever. We must grow the organization, and its capacity. The cost of conserving land can be very high – legal costs, appraisals, surveys, title searches, auditors, staff time, and often the purchase of property. The Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust Board is entirely volunteer, and there is no government funding. We rely on you to help us save the land you love, and protect the land values and services in this landscape that’s celebrated around the world. Your donations of both money, land and willingness to help will realize this goal.
It will be your legacy until the end of time.