Wji’kijek – MapleCross Natural Area (I)”
Alexandra, Prince Edward Island
Island Nature Trust
Crown Point headland, home to a diverse range of coastal and wetland wildlife, was secured by Island Nature Trust thanks to the outstanding support of Environment and Climate Change Canada, MapleCross Fund, and roughly one hundred individual Islanders.
Crown Point – Wji’kijek Natural Area is a kingdom teeming with wildlife. The 117-acre land parcel is a rich mix of salt marsh, coastal cliff, forested bluff and peatland habitats that provide homes for countless birds and small mammals. Water-birds forage along the tideline while harbour seals loaf offshore in a vibrant setting that is now protected for generations of Islanders to appreciate forever.
The proximity of this undeveloped headland to the growing community of Stratford, meant the window to secure its protection was limited. Stratford is experiencing extensive population growth, placing the nearby coastal ecosystem under pressure from both land and sea. Holding this land in trust means the Island Nature Trust can protect this critical bionetwork and coastal interface in perpetuity. MapleCross Fund and individual Islanders heard the urgency and responded to our requests for support.
With over 90% of the province’s coastline in private ownership, human use impacts on coastal resources. This stretch of shoreline with its extensive salt marsh wetlands offers critical resting places for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl on the Atlantic Migratory Flyway. The Island Nature Trust hopes to work with new neighbours and supporters to protect the broader span of continuous saltmarsh along Pownal Bay, China Point and Orwell Bay for these long-distance wild migrants. This acquisition experience has shown us once again that we can depend on the incredible generosity of the people of Prince Edward Island as well as regional and national conservation partners to support the conservation of our iconic red Island shores.
Content and property pictures courtesy of: Island Nature Trust at islandnaturetrust.ca