Natasha van Bentum at Give Green Canada (G2) knows the power of an anniversary. She can literally see it each time she comes across one of the centennial swimming pools that opened up all around her province, British Columbia, during Canada’s Expo celebrations in 1967.
When the Canada 150 celebrations were announced, van Bentum wanted to harness the same momentum of the anniversary to draw awareness to the environment, encouraging people to think about their green legacy. Her effort was boosted when, in 2016, the Liberal government announced one of the four key themes of Canada’s sesquicentennial would be the environment.
“The environment, traditionally, is very underfunded compared to other charitable sectors,” says van Bentum. “Technically, [Stats Canada] says less than two cents of every dollar donated by Canadians annually goes to the environment, but it’s actually less than that because in their category of environment they include animal welfare groups, like SPCA. So, if you extrapolate and just consider the organizations that only work on conservation or the environment, it’s probably just over one cent of every dollar.”
Give Green Canada got to work, collaborating with the Stewardship Centre for BC (SCBC), to launch “Creating Stewardship Legacies,” a joint outreach and public awareness campaign to celebrate conservation champions in local communities, encourage individuals to create their own stewardship legacy, and give tips about how to make a difference on the ground in local communities.
To help Canadians understand more about legacy gift giving, G2, with the Land Trust Alliance of BC, published an updated edition of the Green Legacies Guide. G2 and SCBC have also released a list of ten actions Canadians can take in their community, regardless of their personal resources, to give back to the environment during the sesquicentennial.
To learn more about the “Creating Stewardship Legacies” campaign, visit stewardshipcentrebc.ca/legacies/