National group names three eastern PEI locations to its nature campaign
By Jonathan Charlton
The Nature Conservancy of Canada has named three eastern PEI locations to represent the province in its national Time for Nature campaign, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the NCC’s founding.
The conservancy encourages vacationers and Islanders alike to visit the Basin Head sand dunes, Boughton Island and the St Peter’s Lake Run.
Diane Griffin, the conservancy’s PEI program manager, said coastlines are really the only places on PEI to find wilderness.
While coastlines are to some extent developed and see a lot of visitors, there are still pleasant natural sites that remain as wilderness and great wildlife habitat, she said.
These three are some of Ms Griffin’s favourite places on the Island. In fact, she did her master’s thesis at Acadia University on the Basin Head sand dunes. She looked at how the vegetation adapted to survive in the sandy, salty and dry conditions there.
“From the point of view of geology and biology, it’s a case where the two have come together to create this spectacular set of dune ridges and the beautiful white sand beach. It really is a special area.”
Boughton Island features colonial nesting birds in the Great Blue Heron, Common Tern and Double-crested Cormorant as well as the endangered Piping Plover, while St Peter’s Lake Run is an important nesting and feeding site for plovers.
Burnt Point resident Susan Walsh likes to visit Boughton Island three or four times a summer to hang out on the beach.
She has heard - though not seen - coyotes there but does see a lot of birds.
“I like the isolation. It’s nice to kind of feel like you’re completely unplugged and away from it all,” Ms Walsh said.
Not only are Basin Head, Boughton Island and St Peter’s Lake good for wildlife they’re also good for people, Ms Griffin said, and are examples of where ecotourism and conservation meet.
“It beings us back to reality, I think, to be able to get out there in the fresh air and walk in a nice location and not to hear vehicles, just hear natural sounds.”
The NCC encourages naturegoers to share their Time for Nature plans, stories and photos at www.natureconservancy.ca/timefornature
Boughton Island, pictured, along with the Basin Head sand dunes sand the St Peter’s Lake Run, has been chosen by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to be part of the Time for Nature campaign. Submitted photo