Nature Destinations Project:
NCC mission: We envision a world in which Canadians conserve nature in all its diversity and safeguard the lands and waters that sustain life.
NCC’s Nature Destinations program is NCC’s open invitation to connect with nature as you journey through some of the greatest examples of our country’s natural areas. From coastal estuaries in Atlantic Canada, to Quebec’s Appalachian Mountain range, to the prairie grasslands and BC’s interior habitats, each Nature Destination offers opportunities to create unforgettable memories in Canada’s unique landscapes. These properties are key to connecting people to nature which we know is so important.
Recent research has found that time in nature helps people reduce anxiety and stress, and increases our attention capacity, creativity, and ability to connect with others. There are four Nature Destination sites in Saskatchewan and two are located in South Saskatchewan Community Foundation’s area. Old Man on his Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area is among the gems of southwest Saskatchewan, located approximately 225 kilometers southwest of Swift Current. Over the rolling hills visitors will find vistas, wetlands, tipi rings, and a medicine wheel, cairns and historic farm machinery and buildings. A herd of genetically pure plains bison grazes the property, keeping the prairies in a healthy state.
In 2015, the property was designated a nocturnal preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada due to the absence of artificial light, providing spectacular views of the Milky Way. Thanks to the ranch’s previous owners, Peter and Sharon Butala, these 13,000 plus acres will be conserved forever. The second property is Fairy Hill, only 43 km north of Regina on Highway # 6. Fairy Hill makes for a perfect escape from-the-city day trip. The trail circles through grasslands of beautiful flora and forests of aspen trees. Part of the trail crosses a gorgeous lookout spot on a hill, where remarkable views of the valley await. Visitors can make time to just observe nature, it’s common to see deer, moose, porcupine and might be lucky to spot a great blue heron! These properties are open to the public and NCC is thrilled to be able to provide them so that people can connect to nature. And NCC wants to make it a great experience but needs help with funds to improve the properties.
NCC requests that consideration be given for donations up to $10,000 for the improvements listed below. At OMB, the following would be added/created:
- A kiosk outside of the Interpretive Centre to engage with visitors and provide bison safety information
- A new roof on the Interpretive Centre
- New panels in the Centre to provide more information on the history of the area, including the Indigenous way of life Needs at Fairy Hill include:
- A kiosk at the trailhead to engage with visitors, and provide important up-to-date information of what their visit might include
- Updated interpretive signs throughout the trail to point out native species, and artifacts located near by – A small walking bridge over the creek to make accessing the entire trail easier
Learn more about the Nature Conservancy of Canada at http://www.natureconservancy.ca