The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust was started in 1991, under the name the Bras d’Or Preservation Society and later the Bras d’Or Preservation Foundation. At that time, the focus of the organization was solely on private land conservation in the Bras d’Or Lakes watershed. In 1993, the organization was the first to be designated by the province of Nova Scotia as an eligible conservation organization under the Nova Scotia Conservation Easements Act. In the 1990’s, the organization received an important land donation on St. Patricks Channel from Mary Harper. Conservation easements were also established on Pony’s Point and Boulacette Farm in Maskell’s Harbour. The organization was fuelled on volunteer efforts alone during this time.
It became evident over time that many people who visited and lived around the Bras d’Or were often unaware of the threats and vulnerabilities of the Bras d’Or Lakes ecological systems and also its very unique and special cultural and natural histories. The Board of Directors decided to begin a concentrated effort on education about the watershed and its history to address this. To this end, they initiated the establishment of the Bras d’Or Lakes and Watershed Interpretive Centre in 2000. The centre had 50,000 visitors in its 14 years of operation.
The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust has been very involved in several important environmental campaigns around the Bras d’Or. The organization initiated the first movement towards establishing a biosphere reserve on the Bras d’Or. After the better part of a decade of concerted effort, this initiative has resulted in the designation of the lakes and watershed by the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program as a Biosphere Reserve. The organization is hopeful that with the establishment of the Bras d’Or Lakes and watershed Biosphere Reserve, a broader awareness and acknowledgement of the unique and sensitive ecology of the lakes will result in more opportunities to engage in conservation projects in the watershed.
The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust partners with private landowners, organizations and communities to conserve and protect ecologically important habitat through land donation, purchase, and conservation easements. It was the first “designated conservation organization” under the then newly enacted Nova Scotia Conservation Easements Act in 1993. We also sponsored the Bras d’Or Lakes and Watershed Interpretive Centre as part of our mandate to increase public awareness and appreciation for the Bras d’Or Lakes.
The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust is a registered charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency, able to issue tax deductible receipts for donations and gifts. The organization is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors.
The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust is a private environmental non-profit organization located on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. The organization was formed in 1991 to pursue the objectives of:
1. Protecting environmentally significant private land in the Bras d’Or watershed; and
2. Educating Cape Breton communities and visitors to the area about the unique ecological and cultural heritage of the Bras d’Or Lakes.
We are the only non-profit land trust operating out of Cape Breton.
The Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors.
Aynsley MacFarlane, Chairperson
John G. Langley
Dr. Henry Muggah