Taking initiative beyond our communities

November 14, 2022 Topics: Nature

Qualico Communities' commitment to sustainability is at the core of our culture and embedded in our communities. It’s an important part of who we are, and we demonstrate this responsibility each day by creating environments where people, plants and wildlife coexist.

Outside of the communities we build, we believe there is also a role for us. Since 2013, Qualico Communities has pledged quarterly contributions to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), and we are proud to have raised over $413,638 since then to support NCC in what they do best.

“We’ve partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada because they are a well-respected conservation group that is excellent at bringing support from multiple parties together to protect naturally sensitive areas,” says Bryan Warde, vice president of Qualico Communities. 

As a result of Qualico Communities' donations, NCC has been able to expand their conservation work further throughout Manitoba. In 2021, NCC acquired 358 hectares (885 acres) of land that is particularly important to our province’s biodiversity and species protection.

This acquisition supports the world’s largest population of western prairie white-fringed orchid, two of the seven Poweshiek skipperling habitat sites left in the country, and a portion of Manitoba’s small white lady’s slippers. In addition to this, the area holds tall grass prairie (a habitat listed as endangered under Manitoba’s Endangered Species and Ecoystems Act), as well as 10 provincially and federally listed species at risk.
Children in tall grass prairie-QC

With financial support from partners such as Qualico Communities, NCC can enact their conservation planning resources and expertise that is needed to maintain the ecological integrity of vital areas such as these.

Within the last few years, Qualico Communities’ donations have gone towards the design and implementation of a multi-parcel watering system in Waggle Springs, located in the Assiniboine Delta natural area. This watering system now provides livestock with alternate clean water sources to reduce and prevent impacts of cattle access to the Assiniboine River and sensitive habitats, including freshwater springs that support roundleaf monkey flowers (a nationally rare species).

Along with land stewardship, a portion of Qualico Communities’ contributions go towards education. They’ve helped NCC staff engage with students from Assiniboine Community College to perform a wildlife camera tracking project on the Fort Ellice property. During this project, students collected and analyzed data to provide better insight into how wildlife are using the property’s various habitats including sandhill and mixed-grass prairie, oak savannah, wetlands, upland and riverbank forests. This then assists NCC in reviewing the effectiveness of long-term land management practices.
NCC Intern and staff-QC

Similarly, with Qualico Communities’ support, NCC can collect data on migratory shorebirds; a group that is experiencing significant population declines. There is still limited information on why their numbers are dwindling, so this much needed information will help ensure conservation efforts are effective and occurring in the right places.

“It’s important to ensure that undisturbed places still exist and that a variety of habitats still function throughout North America,” says Warde.

In today’s environment, rapid biodiversity loss and climate change demand urgent conservation solutions. Many believe that there is no solution to climate change without nature, and thus the two crises are inextricably linked. To help overcome this, Qualico Communities is honoured to continue our partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in their efforts to protect areas that are critical to Manitoba’s biodiversity for present and future generations.

Learn more about our 2019-2021 impact report here.

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