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Archive for February, 2022

2021 AGM

Usually we hold our AGM at the end of October, beginning of November. However, in 2021 we delayed the AGM for personal reasons. We are therefore holding it on Friday, March 4 at 6.30 pm. It will only be an AGM. We will hold a special evening for speakers later into the spring. So, if you would like to attend, receive our AGM package, hear the president’s report and financial report and perhaps join our board, please contact us at info@malaspinaland.ca. The AGM will be held via Zoom. We will send out the Zoom call information to all who wish to attend. You do need to be a current member to vote at the AGM and to become a board member. Memberships are $15 per person and can be purchased on this website using the button “Join or renew your membership” or through e-transfer to info@malaspinaland.ca.

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Over the past two years, more than 4,300 Douglas fir seedlings have been planted around the qathet region through a project called Ted Talks Through Trees. The project continues in 2022, and each year a large portion of the seedlings have been donated through PRT Growing Services Ltd. on Vancouver Island.

Weston Thorsell: Planting for Future Generations during the 2021 Ted Talks Through Trees project

With the passing of our board member, Ted Crossley, an idea was born to honour him through a project to increase the number of trees in the Powell River region.

Ted often spoke about trees, and nurtured the trees on his own property, finding solace within their presence.

Our long-time board member, Lesley, envisioned an evening fundraiser at Little Hut Curry. With Mohinder’s help, the restaurant was sold out and those who gathered did so to support the purchase of seedlings that would be planted in the spring 2020 on private properties throughout the region.

Trees provide great habitat for wildlife, shade and cooler temperatures during the summer and warmth during the winter. They are carbon sinks, and refresh the air we breathe. They mitigate stormwater runoff by using the water saturating soils for growth. They provide stability on uneven ground and a canopy allowing the forest floor to flourish.

We selected species indigenous to this area that can adapt to a changing climate and are easily maintained.

The 2020 season of tree planting was a great success. We purchased 500 seedlings and received 1,660 more donated through PRT. And so, emboldened, we did it all again in 2021. This time we brought 2,160 into the region for planting, all donated by PRT. We are very grateful for our relationship with PRT Growing Services, Ltd. Headquartered in Victoria, with a branch in Campbell River, our main contact Suzanne has been a strong connection across the water, helping us build a strong forest family.

Now we are in 2022 and we are doing it again. We have purchased 500, and will receive 1,260 donated through PRT. By the end of spring, that means more than 6,000 trees will have been planted in the area through this project. So, if you would like to receive some Douglas fir seedlings to plant on your private land, please contact us at lthorsell@yahoo.com.

This year we are asking for a donation of funds from those wishing to plant. It is easy to donate. You can do so through this website, or by e-transfer to info@malaspinaland.ca. Any donation over $20 receives a charitable tax receipt, and we are asking for a minimum donation of $5. Thank you!

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This article was published in Powell River (now named qathet) Living Magazine’s “Home Grown” insert, page 23, spring 2021.

People have farmed the earth for thousands of years. Soil has been built up, depleted, nourished, starved, understood and misunderstood in a quest for food. With plants packing a punch of nutritious energy, how do we protect those lands and the food they provide into the future?

In the 1970s the BC government initiated the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), an unusually progressive action in North America. Urban sprawl had been chewing up the land. So, 4.7 million hectares, roughly 5% of the province1, were set aside for food sustainability, and the ALR designation has protected those lands for 50 years. However, nothing is perfect.

A small proportion of currently farmed land is within the ALR. Other farmland is held by families, or receives agricultural zoning by a local municipality. Farmers pass on, farms pass on, and there is little one can do, except cross fingers, to ensure that food-growing history continues. Little, that is, until a conservation covenant is placed on the land.

Imagine you need to sell your farm. This farm has been worked by your family for 60 years and the soil is rich. You’ve built it up and tended it with your bare hands. You’ve grown a vast variety of produce each year and sold it to your own community at the farmers’ market. You’ve toured people around, teaching them where their food comes from. Now you’re wondering what will happen after you leave.

You can create a legally-binding document that details your wishes. You can designate that a portion or all of your farm remains in food production, suggest the type of farming that can be used and provide a statement of agricultural values. This becomes your conservation covenant.

The covenant is placed on the title of the property and “runs with the land”, legally binding the future owner to abide by your wishes. If the property is within the ALR, the covenant cannot restrict agricultural potential, sits below the ALR on the title and permission from the Agricultural Land Commission needs to be sought. In this case, the covenant provides a second layer of defence to maintain agricultural integrity should the need arise.

Westcoast Environmental Law created Greening Your Title2, a wonderful resource should you be interested in protecting your property. Contact your lawyer, and work with a land conservancy or local government. Know that preserving your farmland protects food security for generations to come.

Janet Southcott

Malaspina Land Conservancy Society

www.malaspinaland.ca

1. https://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/alc/content/alr-maps/alr-history

2. https://www.wcel.org/publication/greening-your-title-guide-best-practices-conservation-covenant-3rd-edition

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