Five Successful Recipients Announced for BC Conservation Foundation’s Community Conservation Fund

Mar 6, 2024 | News

Surrey BC – British Columbia Conservation Foundation’s Board of Directors announced five successful recipients for the Community Conservation Fund totaling $37,979.

Numerous applications were submitted from around the province in an array of initiatives that focus on community-based environmental education, collaboration and habitat conservation.

“We congratulate the successful recipients, and look forward to seeing our next set of applications, and the exciting conservation projects they represent,” stated Board Chair, John Shepherd.

Successful proposals include the following:

1) Aquatic Research and Restoration Centre – Little Qualicum River Estuary Regional Conservation Area Interpretative Signage

The Little Qualicum River Estuary Regional Conservation Area (LQRERCA) is one of three undeveloped estuarine sand spits along the east coast of Vancouver Island. Although public access is restricted to protect the area, it is frequently accessed by passersby. The spit has had extensive revegetation efforts undertaken to stabilize substrate, create forage and refuge opportunities, and improve water quality, all critical to salmonid habitat. The Foundation and LQRERCA stakeholders propose the installation of interpretative signage tot educate the public. Signage will highlight: the significance of the spit and its protected status; the ongoing restoration efforts and their role in supporting and enhancing salmon habitat; and why public access to the property should be avoided.

Award $3,000

2) Bulkley Valley Research Centre – Restoring Endangered Whitebark Pine Ecosystems to Enhance Subalpine Bear Habitat

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a keystone species in subalpine forests of western North America, which serve as a vital food source for various wildlife, including grizzly and black bears, red squirrels, and Clark’s nutcrackers. Whitebark pine is endangered from extensive mortality caused by an invasive pathogen (white pine blister rust), outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle, catastrophic wildfire, and climate change.

The Bulkley Valley Research Centre’s whitebark pine program is a multi-partnership research and restoration program that aims to restore whitebark pine ecosystems for bear habitat in the Skeena Region. The program has been restoring whitebark pine since 2007, and this year our goal is to collect seed from rust resistant trees, launch our first wildlife monitoring project after a small pilot season, and serve as a hub for whitebark pine information and action in northern BC.

Award – $10,000

3) Friends of West Kootenay Parks – Kokanee Salmon School Program 2024

The Kokanee Salmon School Program provides education to youth, residents, and visitors, fostering understanding and appreciation of our Kokanee Salmon in Kootenay Lake. The fish spawn annually from August to October in tributaries, spawning channels and shorelines on Kootenay Lake. They have evolved in Kootenay Lake for over 9,000 years when ocean-going Sockeye Salmon became landlocked by massive waterfalls along the Kootenay River.

As thousands of salmon return to the spawning channel at Kokanee Creek, program participants can witness the spectacle of the redfish with first-hand learning opportunities. The program inspires informed decisions related to fisheries management, healthy ecosystems and care for our environment.

Award $5,000

4) Living Lakes Canada – Collaboratively Protecting Foreshore Values on Priority Okanagan Lakes

In the Okanagan, lake shorelines are experiencing unparalleled development pressures, resulting in reductions and impairments to shoreline habitat function and diversity. Given 90% of biodiversity depends on the shoreline, and 87% of freshwater species have disappeared since the 1970’s, protecting the freshwater environments has never been more important than it is today.

Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP) is a cumulative impact assessment tool that offers a solution for addressing these issues. The FIMP project on Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake, re-survey the lakes for the first time since 2009/2010. Kalmalka and Wood Lake are extremely important and are integral to the communities that surround them. The lakes act as a drinking water source, are critical habitat for numerous fish and wildlife species and are a focal point for lakeshore communities.

Award $10,000

5) Okanagan Nation Alliance – Syilx Herbarium for Preservation of Ethnobotany

This project is intended to educate Syilx communities and the public about ethnobotanical knowledge within the Syilx Okanagan Territory and protect the traditional ecological knowledge of culturally important plants by collecting live plants to press and preserve them in the Syilx herbarium for generations. Collecting plant specimens and learning about them while spending time in the outdoors help reconnect people to the tmxwulaxw (Land) they live on.

This is also an important step for healing, not just for the Syilx people, but also the non- Indigenous people. To bring everyone together to appreciate tmxwulaxw more – a step towards reconciliation and showing more respects to the environment. Plant specimens are accessible for all Syilx people, and En’owkin Centre visitors. The collection is on display in various community outreach events.


Media Contact:
David Hendrickson
Executive Director
604-576-1433 x 315

About the BC Conservation Foundation: Incorporated in 1969, the BC Conservation Foundation promotes thriving fish and wildlife populations throughout BC and supports fish and wildlife through education, collaboration and habitat conservation. We do this by managing projects and initiatives on behalf of key stakeholders and running our own signature programs, such as the Community Conservation Fund. For more information, please visit