Join the worldwide conservation effort…

Become a Gabriola Nature Steward.

Keeping the “wild” in nature is in all our hands.

Only 12% of Gabriola Island is protected.

We can’t rely solely on our parklands. They are not enough.

Over two-thirds of the island is privately-owned—we need to think about how we can help conserve habitat on these lands.

GaLTT’s Nature Stewards is an inspirational program, full of opportunities for community collaboration. It’s a decade-long challenge for all of us to voluntarily conserve at least 30% of our own properties in a natural/nature-friendly state.

Learn more below, or contact naturestewards@galtt.ca

The photo shows a forest with tree trunks rising from mossy understory

Let our remaining trees grow old

Canadian scientists officially list many species within this eco-region of B.C. as “rare or endangered”. We need to protect our remaining forest communities, letting them age and thereby become more rich in diversity.

“ . . . A tree can only be as strong as the forest that surrounds it.”

Photo of a slightly wild-looking garden designed to be wildlife-friendly, with bird baths, feeders, and species friendly to pollinators.

Garden for wildlife

Add flowering plants, put up birdhouses, plant hedgerows for privacy instead of a barrier wall of wooden fencing; let some areas of your garden go wilder and naturalize, allow some old logs or stumps to rot in place… these are just some of the ways to help enhance habitat.

A patch of forest. Beyond it we can see a house.

Keeping the “wild” in nature is in our hands

Two-thirds of Gabriola is privately-owned land. The most important thing you can do to help on your property is to create or restore space for trees, plants and other natural elements and living things to co-exist—especially native species.

When we all do this…

…we make a natural patchwork of habitat connecting with our neighbour’s land and linking up with the protected parks and natural areas across the island.

That’s thinking like we’re all part of the island’s ecology!

Photo courtesy of Sharon McInnes

… is to go from 12% to ≥ 30% by 2030

Joining a worldwide effort by governments, scientists and conservation groups . . .
let’s do our part locally to make sure at least 30% of natural habitat is conserved for biodiversity and wildlife. Take the Nature Stewards pledge!

Two photos of signs. One is the Nature Stewards logo, with text below that says "We're Conserving Native Habitat" on a blue background. The other says "Home of a Wildlife Friendly Garden" on a purple background.

Join your friends and neighbours…

Become a Nature Steward

Join GaLTT’s Nature Stewards program and take the voluntary pledge to conserve and enhance as much natural habitat as possible on your private property. By doing so you benefit our whole community.

“Does signing up mean I can’t do anything to my property in the future?”

Absolutely not! This is a voluntary pledge, not a legal document. It just means that you are promising to do your best to preserve diversity and create habitat for native species.

Read our FAQ to find the answers to commonly asked questions about the program.

What happens when you sign up

  • You make a voluntary pledge to conserve ≥ 30% of your property for wildlife habitat benefits and get a Nature Stewards sign. (From farms and large lots to less than 1/2 acre parcels, every effort is recognized.)
  • Our experienced volunteers can visit your property, do a walkabout with you, and suggest ways to conserve and improve things for wildlife habitat and biodiversity on your land.
  • We offer practical resources, incentives and helpful tips. (Many actions are quite simple yet highly effective.)
  • Becoming a Nature Steward can be as simple as you like and suited to any lifestyle, budget or space.
  • See our Nature Stewards pamphlet (pdf). Share it with others.

Even small actions can make a difference!

Learn more about…

The CDF ecosystem

Our Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem—drier than other kinds of coastal temperate rainforest—is found only on a thin strip of the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, mainland coast, and the southern Gulf Islands. It supports a unique mix of species, including the emblematic Douglas-fir, cedar, arbutus, Garry oak and bigleaf maple, and shrubs such as salal and Oregon grape. Ecologists identify many of our species as rare or endangered. (Click images below for more.)

Get to know your natural neighbours

Everyone on Gabriola knows that we share our island with deer and turkeys, but there are plenty of other critters as well. Many of them provide critical services supporting the health of our ecosystem—as well as the health of humans—and they need habitat.

Learn about our animal neighbours and why they’re important. (Click images below for a few examples.)

…and then take action

Wildlife habitat on YOUR land is important

What can you do to help preserve this ecosystem as the pressures of development and climate change threaten it? Save or restore habitat on your land and make it wildlife friendly. Even simple things like allowing areas to be a bit more “wild” can make a big difference, because this helps create habitat and connections within neighbourhoods and between developed and natural areas.

A few tips to get you started

  • Click the images to see tips and examples in practice.
  • Find us on FaceBook
  • Subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
  • Watch for more videos in the months ahead, covering practical tips and profiling all the good work islanders are doing to help nature.
  • Click the button below to visit our curated list of free online Nature Stewards Resources Links.

Be an island champion

There are so many ways Gabriolans can come together with GaLTT to support our ecosystems. You can volunteer or donate, you can put a legal conservation covenant on the land you hold… but joining the Nature Stewards program is one of the easiest. And it’s surprisingly effective and important, because even small changes on private lands add up.

Please join us.

Learn more by contacting our coordinator Ken Gurr at naturestewards@galtt.ca or book a visit using the form below.

Book a visit with Nature Stewards

Thanks to our donors & funders, GaLTT’s Nature Stewards program offers resources and the help of experienced volunteers who can visit your property and help with practical ideas and insights for conserving and enhancing nature.

If you’re interested in having us visit and seeing if your property has met or is on the way to contributing to this habitat conservation challenge, please fill out the contact form on this page.

PLEASE NOTE that the program is popular, so we have a waiting list for visits. We will get in touch with you in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, check out our Resources page and learn more about what you can do right now to help nature on your property.

Are you a GaLTT member?
How can we help?

After reading about the Nature Stewards' goal of conserving 30% of the island for nature, how would you like to get involved? (Check any that apply.)

Tell us more.

To help us organize our volunteer follow-up activities, please tell us a bit more about your property features and which area of the island is you are located (e.g. neighbourhood/nearest road).

Coast Salish Peoples have lived on Gabriola and throughout these Salish Sea “gulf islands” for thousands of years. Today, we are learning how to “Indigenize” our thinking and relationship with our natural world and the deep interconnections First Nations have always maintained with culture and nature.

We are honoured and grateful to live in the territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.