• Number of Completed Projects (2014-2015)
  • 2
  • Acres Conserved
  • 4,685
  • Land Value
  • $9,924,000
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 666

Launching the campaign to conserve Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area

NCC launched its fundraising campaign to secure the funds necessary to purchase the Bunchberry Meadows Conservation Area before the end of 2015. Once completed, the property will be open to visitors and will offer a network of hiking trails, a picnic area and more.

The 640-acre (260-hectare) site, located just southwest of Edmonton near the Devonian Botanic Garden, has been co-owned and managed by five families for 40 years.

Having witnessed significant changes in the lands surrounding Bunchberry Meadows and the City of Edmonton, the five ownership families decided to work with NCC to ensure the land is conserved for their children and grandchildren. They have generously offered to sell Bunchberry Meadows to NCC for half of its market value.

NCC also opened a new office in the City of Edmonton — a testament to the Alberta Region’s growth and success.

Kyle Marquardt

Beloved woodland property conserved

Thanks in part to funding from TD Bank Group (TD) through the TD Forests program and the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, NCC conserved 478 acres (193 hectares) of forested lands southwest of Edmonton, near the North Saskatchewan River.

Owned and loved for years by the Busenius family, the property is characterized by a diverse boreal forest. The forest shelters a mixture of broad-leaf trees such as aspen, balsam poplar and paper birch, in addition to evergreens such as white spruce, black spruce and tamarack.

This healthy forest covers the majority of the property and provides much needed habitat for the wide variety of wildlife found in the area, including:

  • 22 mammal species (including a herd of 40 elk);
  • 154 bird species (nine of which are imperiled); and
  • 266 plant species (including a number of rare and uncommon orchids).

The nine wetlands found on the Busenius property support numerous waterfowl. Many raptors, including bald eagle, nest here.

Kyle Marquardt

The next success in NCC’s partnership with the Waldron

In 2013, NCC struck a historic agreement with the Waldron Grazing Co-operative to protect 30,535 acres (12,357 hectares) of native rough fescue grassland in southwestern Alberta.

This agreement was the first opportunity in more than a century to conserve this broad expanse of land that includes the headwaters of the South Saskatchewan drainage basin — a network of waterways that provides water for millions of Canadians and countless species.

Once again in partnership with the Waldron shareholders, NCC has established a conservation agreement on an adjacent parcel, the King Ranch. This brings the total protected area in and around the Waldron to 34,743 acres (14,059 hectares).

“The new, bigger Waldron will be protected and ranched; something that our founders are proud of,” says Tim Nelson, board chair of the Waldron Grazing Co-operative.

The King Ranch has changed owners a few times since the 1990s, each time almost being purchased by developers. Then in 2015 the opportunity arose for the Waldron Grazing Co-operative to purchase the King Ranch and add it to their larger holding. Thanks to their strong partnership with NCC, the shareholders once again agreed to establish a conservation agreement on the land to prevent any future subdivision of the lands.

Wildlife of all sorts will benefit from this conservation achievement. These lands offer important overwintering habitat for elk and mule deer while also supporting wide-ranging mammals such as grizzly and black bear, cougar, moose and white-tailed deer. Prairie falcon, ferruginous hawk, golden eagle and many other birds hunt and breed here.