Protecting our Canadian Landscape: An Exploration of Environmental Charities


From coast, to coast, to coast, Canada’s geographic landscape is vast – from aquatic expanses, peaks and mountains along The Rockies, and old growth forests dating back hundreds and thousands of years.  But even as 81 percent of Canadians currently live in urban areas, a poll from the David Suzuki Foundation reports 98 percent of Canadians consider our natural environment to be critical to both our existence and well-being.

What’s even more interesting are recent statistics from the David Suzuki Foundation which report 64 percent of Canadians surveyed believe government officials should do more to implement laws to protect the most precious, non-renewable resource we have – our environment.

But as much as Canadians feel strongly about our environment, only 1.3 percent of all donations at CanadaHelps are directed to environmental charities – and that trend is much more widespread than you may expect.  According to Statistics Canada, only 3 percent of all charitable donations made in 2010 supported environmental charitable organizations, although there are currently over 1,000 active in Canada.

To shine a spotlight on some amazing environmental charities making an impact across the country, we at CanadaHelps have curated a new series on the Giving Life Blog.  Over the coming weeks, we will share stories from the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, Faith and the Common Good, Green Action Centre, Nature Conservancy, Nature Trust, Environmental Defence and The Couchiching Conservancy – all of which are passionate Canadian charities working to lessen our environmental footprint, preserve our treasured Canadian landscape, and make a massive and long-lasting impact in our world.

Series Sneak Peek:

Nature Conservancy

Scientist by day, Dan Kraus participates in what most people would consider to be an unusual hobby – tree hugging.  But the practice isn’t as bizarre as you may think.  After all, the magical experience enjoying life within the woods can be summed up by one word not used in the English language – Waldensemkeit.

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Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (CEGN)

Pegi Dover felt a million miles away from Nepal when the destructive 7.9 earthquake ravaged the nation in April 2015.  Feeling helpless, Dover not only did what she could to aid earthquake relief effort, she also reflected on the connections bridging the gap between her daily work as Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and the destruction causing havoc in Nepal.

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Green Action Centre

Turning 30 years young this year, Manitoba’s Green Action Centre is kicking commuters out of their cars and onto a bicycle for their 16th annual Commuter Challenge – but they don’t brake there.  As part of their big birthday wish, Green Action Centre is doing even more to support sustainable solutions, a mission they are renowned for since the Centre first flourished back in 1985.

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Faith and the Common Good

Uniting people, faith, and the environment, Faith and the Common not only melds the trifecta together to generate a blended appreciation of nature across religious and cultural borderlines, it brings nature to the front steps of religious institutions in a creative way one may not expect.

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Nova Scotia Nature Trust

Sprinkled on the coastline of Nova Scotia are hundreds of perfect little islands visible from the shoreline.  The islands, otherwise known to locals as the 100 Wild Islands, are a majestic natural wonder, unfortunately faced with several serious pressures and threats.  And that is why the Nova Scotia Nature Trust was born. A charitable organization, it’s dedicated to persevering these irreplaceable islands for generations to come.

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The Couchiching Conservancy

Preservation over public access is The Couchiching Conservancy’s motto.  Working to preserve environmentally sensitive land for future generations to enjoy untouched, The Couchiching Conservancy has saved thousands of acres of land for conservation, but has only made a dent into the goals they’ve set out to accomplish over the next five years.

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Environmental Defence

With a mandate to advocate for our environment, Environmental Defence has six easy steps anyone can follow to do their part this Spring and make their thumb green!

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West Coast Environmental Law

West Coast believes the best way to safeguard the environment is to have law protecting it. Through law, species and ecosystems will be protected, communities will have a democratic voice in decisions that affect their well-being and together we will make the essential shift to greater sustainability.

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Nature Trust of New Brunswick

Conserve, steward, and educate — it’s not simply a motto, it’s the very command the Nature Trust of New Brunswick abides by in every action and initiative they undertake. Through the power of learning, the Nature Trust is bestowing an entire generation with the knowledge and tools for stewards of the future.

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The Riverwood Conservancy

Surrounded by rising urban development, The Riverwood Conservancy (TRC) is an extensive natural sanctuary bursting in biodiversity. Rolling hills, trails, historic homes, and bountiful gardens set the scene for learning, inspiration and appreciation amongst all who pay a visit to this precious land.

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the p.i.n.e. project

While life moves fast in the city, the team at the p.i.n.e project is determined to have people stop and smell the roses. Focused on bringing people to nature, the p.i.n.e. project tells us about their upcoming annual fundraiser which asks participants to stop and enjoy nature while raising funds to help others enjoy the great outdoors.

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Environmental Fundraising Story: My 100 Mile Walk

11 year-old Keegan spent his summer vacation making a big difference, and helping the planet one step at a time. He decided to walk 100 miles to raise funds and awareness for the environment, and to show people how easy it is to walk to school, work, stores or anywhere! Keegan said this matters to him, because if we burn less gas we can help protect the environment and leave clean air to breathe for future generations. Keegan chose to fundraise for the David Suzuki Foundation. He shared with us his giving story, written in his own words.

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