In little over two months, nearly 1,400 conservation-minded people from Edinburgh to Emerald (Australia) have donated close to $190,000 to save 107 acres of sensitive forest surrounding a small lake in the Highlands, near Victoria, BC, from development.
The Save Mary Lake campaign, led by 86-year-old eco-champion Bob McMinn, invites donors to own virtual square metres of the property on an online map for as little as $10 each. The group has also launched a mini-documentary series, Reflections of Mary Lake. Watch the first chapter below:
Why Mary Lake?
Given the scale of eco destruction the world over, you may be wondering, why Mary Lake? There’s the most obvious reasons: Mary Lake provides habitat for a variety of endangered species: the great blue heron, the red legged frog, mountain sneezeweed and a host of others.
The land also connects several regional and provincial parks that provide access to natural areas within a short drive of Victoria. When Mary Lake becomes a park, hikers from all over the world will be able to follow a 25 km trail loop that traverses three mountains and passes through a rich diversity of habitats.
But more broadly – the struggle to save these shrinking tracts of natural land is occurring the world over. And maybe people from all over the world can help each other save them.
If the Conservancy does not raise $1 million by Feb. 1, the land will be sold for development. Current zoning permits 13 residential lots; a developer could apply for rezoning to allow higher density or different uses. Even at the lower density, the integrity of the wildlife corridor and the endangered ecosystem will be compromised, the habitat of endangered species will be disturbed and the opportunity to secure the trail link will be lost.
A live web-a-thon is planned for Jan. 27 from 4pm-8pm via UStream.
Check out Save Mary Lake to learn more.