The rare Charitable Research Reserve is an urban land trust and environmental institute in Waterloo Region/Wellington, with its first four locations protecting almost 1,000 acres of highly sensitive lands. Since inception, rare has taken care of the land on behalf of the community through the use of Western tools in conservation, research and education. As rare becomes engaged in reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island (North America), these pillars have gained flexibility and now equally include and value Indigenous ways of knowing and being — becoming three strands of a strong braid. Together we will steward these lands with respect for generations past, present and those yet to come, intact in perpetuity with trees more than 250 years old, 24 habitat types, and 6 of 8 pre-settlement landscapes.
Through the combined efforts of the community, rare’s team of staff and advisors and local Indigenous Peoples we will discover the most inclusive practices and answers to environmental issues, stewarding the reserve’s diverse network of natural landscapes for ecological integrity and future generations.
To offer the community, including local Indigenous Peoples, the international community and future generations, a diverse network of connected natural areas, protected intact in perpetuity. As an international leader in conservation, research, restoration and education, rare will serve as a model system that not only demonstrates the link between ecological integrity and economic sustainability but includes meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, both of which are critical for the enhancement and quality of life of the planet.
With 24 different habitats and more than 4,000 species on its first three properties the goal of rare is to preserve its sites and their ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy in their natural states. Through sustainable management, sensitive lands and research sites are protected while the public can enjoy 8 km of trails, extensive community gardens and regular interpretive events.
Our emphasis on community education and engagement, based on living together in reciprocity, comes from our belief that sustainability is an attainable goal that can be reached if we recognize people as part of the environment and work together towards responsible stewardship.
While rare’s goal is to steward its sites and ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy, forever, in a natural state, it also promotes the lands as a living laboratory for research — including in-house monitoring programs and partnerships with other institutions, citizen scientists, artists and Indigenous Peoples. Research then informs restoration practices and education programs through a Chain of Learning that reaches even the youngest learners in a program called Every Child Outdoors (ECO), a model of active, hands-on, problem-based environmental learning, driven by inquiry in the out-of-doors.
Thank you for visiting us on CanadaHelps!