Corporate staff to get hands dirty for nature

Natural health product maker Nature’s Way is changing the way companies support charities

September 28, 2018 [Halifax, NS] – As well as making a significant corporate donation, staff from Nature’s Way Canada are picking up grinders, shovels, clippers and brushes today in support of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. What’s new is that this is not your typical “corporate sponsorship.”

Along with the donation, which will be $75,000 over three years, Nature’s Way staff will provide volunteer support. Starting today, 30 staff will rise from their desks to hit the woods at the Nature Trust’s Purcells Cove property to help with the stewardship needs of the land. They will work in two shifts; the first arriving at 11:30AM, the second at 1:30PM. Each group will get a vigorous 90-minute workout helping to care for irreplaceable urban wildlands in Purcells Cove.

A new way of corporate giving?

This generous corporate donation is also “undesignated,” which means the charity, and not the company, will decide how it will be used.

“A donation that is undesignated means the company knows and trusts us to use their gift in the best possible way,” says Nature Trust director of conservation Ross Firth. “Nature’s Way is letting us do our job of protecting Nova Scotia’s outstanding natural legacy through land conservation; they just want to help. Companies can add stipulations that can be complex. Instead, Nature’s Way is saying, ‘Just go and do what you do best.’ It’s the ideal way to support a cause.”

A spin-off benefit

Nature Trust executive director Bonnie Sutherland sees yet another benefit from an undesignated gift. It can be used for stewardship, which, for the Nature Trust, tends to be “less sexy” than acquiring a new piece of property. While Sutherland sees people respond with excitement (and donations) to help acquire land, she says it’s more of a challenge to get people excited about all the work that needs to be done on those lands—and for years to come.

“While a new land acquisition by the Nature Trust gets lots of headlines,” says Sutherland, “the ongoing stewardship and care of these properties tends to be less splashy, less sexy, but it is vitally important to the overall conservation effort—and it’s an ongoing process. It doesn’t stop.”

A perfect fit for Corporate Canada

According to Sutherland, corporate leaders tend to “get” stewardship and its importance, with its elements of investing now for the future, seeing the big picture, being in it for the long haul; they get it because “that’s the kind of vision you need for success in business.”

“Any astute business person understands there is no point in acquiring something unless you plan to take care of it, tend to it, grow it, so it will yield the desired benefits,” says Sutherland. “So while the behind-the-scenes work of land stewardship may seem less exciting in the public sphere, corporate leaders get it because it makes good business sense. I’ve always seen our stewardship work as being a great fit for corporate giving. Hopefully there’s a trend here.”

Supporting the community you live and work in

“We’re looking forward to being out in nature today, helping steward this land,” says Pam McEwing, Vice President of Operations for Nature’s Way Canada. “Nature’s Way is committed to helping people and the planet through our products and how they are manufactured. Companies have an obligation to give back to the community. As a Nova Scotia-based company, this is a perfect way for us to support the community that our staff and their families live in.”

Nature’s Way of Canada (formerly Ascenta Health) has supported the Nature Trust since 2006.

A pioneer in herbal supplements, Nature’s Way® is one of the most recognized and trusted consumer brands of nutritional supplements and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.  Nature’s Way is known for its expansive line of omega-3 supplements, herbs, probiotics, vitamins & minerals, and other natural health products.  Nature’s Way® products include brands such as NutraSea® omega-3 oils, Alive!® multi-vitamins, Umcka® Cold Care, Sambucus® elderberry extracts, and Fortify® probiotics. They offer over 250 premium nutritional and natural products.  For more information visit www.natureswaycanada.ca.

The Nature Trust is dedicated to protecting habitats that provide a home for Nova Scotia’s endangered species such as Blanding’s Turtles, Plymouth Gentian, Canada Warbler and Eastern Ribbon snake. In order to ensure the ecological integrity of the places they protect so imperilled species can recover and thrive, the Nature Trust undertakes active stewardship of their protected lands. Stewardship involves monitoring, cleanups, trail maintenance and restoration (in cases of invasive species).

Companies wanting to learn more about supporting conservation work are encouraged to contact the Nova Scotia Nature Trust at www.nsnt.ca. Individual donations are also welcome.

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Stay Safe in the Season of Love – Watch for Wildlife urges drivers to be extra cautious during deer & moose mating season.

FREDERICTON, NB [Oct 2nd, 2018]— Watch for Wildlife is asking drivers to take extra care to avoid collisions with wildlife over the Thanksgiving long weekend and into the weeks that follow.

“It’s that time of year again,” says Kristin Elton, Watch for Wildlife’s Outreach Coordinator for New Brunswick. “The annual fall rut for deer and moose is upon us, so these animals are on the move looking for mates. As a result, they are crossing more roads as they move through the landscape on their search.”

These animals are most active at dawn and dusk and with decreasing daylight hours, more drivers are on the roads at this time. This, combined with the change in animal behaviour, results in a spike in deer and moose collisions at this time of year.

Mating season also causes deer and moose to be bolder so they may be less apprehensive of roads and people. The onset of hunting season and colder weather also means deer, moose and other wildlife are moving from place to place and may run and bolt suddenly.  

WildLife Fall Sierra Club.pngThe Watch for Wildlife program urges drivers to be extra aware driving over the next month and to keep in mind tips for preventing collisions including:

  • paying extra attention at the wheel and obeying the speed limit, especially in areas where you aren’t familiar with the road
  • scanning ahead and looking for movement or shining eyes on the sides of the road
  • slowing down when you see an animal if it is safe to do so as even a slight reduction in speed can give animals enough time to get out of the way safely and
  • if a collision is inevitable, the best thing to do is ‘steer for the rear’ of the deer or moose, as this is less likely to cause as much damage as hitting the animal straight on.

Beyond the increased risk of interactions on the roads, it is also important to give these animals extra space if you encounter them on your property or out on the trails, in order to avoid human-wildlife conflicts in general.

For further tips on preventing wildlife-vehicle collisions, you can visit Watch for Wildlife’s website at www.watchforwildlife.ca for more information.

New Fall Talking Circle Series at Halifax Central Library with Catherine Martin

“Very moving and thought-provoking” “One more reason to love the library” “Excellent! More, please!” Such was the feedback to the pilot Mi’kmaq Talking Circle Series, “Four Circles of Life…” last fall and winter. Thanks to Catherine Martin’s gracious gift to lead the 2018 Halifax circles and partial funding from the Halifax Community Health Board of the Nova Scotia Health Authority, a new series, “Ego to Eco: Learning the Mi’kmaq calendar to Experience Human and Ecological Health’s Interdependence” will launch this coming Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m. in the Talking Circle area of the Central Library and continue each month (October 23, November 20 and December 18) at the same location.

 

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NSEN, with its revitalized new board chaired by PhD Engineering student, Chris White, and the crucial in-kind support of one of Halifax’s favourite gathering place is committed to hosting Mi’kmaq circles in order to facilitate a more ecologically and inclusive way for people to meet and face our fragile future on the planet. The series looks at components of human health through the prism of environmental elements and the eco-centric Mi’kmaq Calendar.

For millennia the unceded Mi’kmaq territory (what is now called the Atlantic Provinces) was sustained by an eco-centric philosophy of a land-based consciousness. The inclusivity and egalitarianism of this philosophy is exemplified by the Mi’kmaq talking circle tradition, an ideal setting for all people living in this time and space to come together to learn how to best survive spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. By acknowledging that 1/putting the needs for a healthy environment before egoic greed, 2/considering what the fullness of the natural world (of which human animals are a part) offers in each month through the perspective of the Mi’kmaw calendar and 3/ discussing the challenges of being healthy in a society that most often ignores that nature is in control, will integrate humans to see that we must put nature first and create the political will to protect our environment above everything.

NSEN encourages a repeat of the broad spectrum of last year’s circles’ representation during which Mi’kmaq, Anishnabe, Cree and Haida First Nations, Inuit people from fifteen countries, all ages, genders and economic backgrounds, longtime residents of Halifax, new Canadians, professionals from the arts and sciences and persons of all abilities came together to listen to the Circle leader and then to each other.
Alanis Obomsawin, a renowned Abenaki filmmaker, singer, artist and activist, relayed this pithy and poignant indigenous wisdom: “When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

For more details, check out the Facebook Event

Sierra Club Applauds Neonicotinoid Pesticide Phase-Out, Calls for Fast Action to Protect Bees

OTTAWA, ON, August 15, 2018 – Sierra Club welcomes the ban of dangerous neonicotinoid pesticides, announced today by Health Canada, and urges a more rapid phase-out than the proposed three-year timeline. Health Canada announced today it was phasing out two of the more commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides.
Neonicotinoids contain neurotoxins that affect insect life. Concerns about impacts on pollinators, especially bees, has mobilized Canadians to stop the use of these chemicals.
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Last year, the international body devoted to protecting global biodiversity, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released a review of over 1,100 peer-reviewed scientific studies, concluding there is no doubt neonicotinoids harm bees.

Health Canada’s own research found that impacts on aquatic insects, often vital to food webs – including fish and birds – are threatened by harmful levels of at least one of these chemicals found in the environment. And because insects are the most diverse known form of life on the planet, impacts on insects should raise alarm for global biodiversity.

“The scientific evidence that these pesticides were hurting pollinators and aquatic life is overwhelming and alarming,” according to Sierra Club Canada Foundation National Program Director Gretchen Fitzgerald. This evidence is being taken seriously by Health Canada, and we applaud them for taking action. We are breathing a sigh of relief today, but hope Health Canada will move quickly to make sure use is stopped sooner than their 2021 deadline.”
“For years, our supporters have pushed for the rapid ban of these pesticides,” according to Fitzgerald. “I can only hope that the damage we have already seen caused by neonics – and the resulting massive public concern – will result in reform for how we approve such pesticides in the first place.”