Following the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a chance to give back. Today only, Telus will match any donations made to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and they are hoping to fund a project in the southeast.

"Not quite a year ago now we purchased a new property that we refer to as Hole in the Wall. It's named after the coulee that runs up the eastern edge of the property," shared Micheal Burak, program director for southwest Saskatchewan with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

The property is located in the Big Muddy area and it was purchased by the NCC to conserve its 2,240 acres of intact native grasslands and 183 acres of critical wetlands. 

"It was a little beat up when we received it so some of the fencing needs to be replaced so that we can actually get cattle back out there and grazing on the grass to keep it nice and healthy, as well as cleaning out some of the dug-outs so that the cattle, once they get out there, actually have somewhere nice and clean to drink out of and things like that," explained Burak.

He said the majority of their properties in southern Saskatchewan are managed through grazing to keep the lands healthy. The NCC develops mutually beneficial relationships with nearby property owners who own cattle to lease their land for grazing.

Burak said the vast majority of NCC land is open for public access.

"People can go out there and smell the flowers and enjoy the birds and things like that and hike around," shared Burak. "When it comes to hunting, we do allow hunting on the vast majority unless there's a specific restriction through a donation that precludes hunting on the property."

NCC also takes a baseline inventory of their lands, including the vast property in the Big Muddy.

"This past summer we went out there and we collected information," said Burak. "So, we did compile some pretty comprehensive species lists of all the plants and animals and all of that that we saw while we were out there doing different kinds of work."

He said they also did grassland and wetland health assessments. The data collected will help NCC develope a five-year management plan in order to improve or maintain biodiversity level targets.

Donations made to NCC are used to help protect natural areas and landscapes for future generations to enjoy.

"So, for things like hiking and other recreation and hunting, fishing, things like that," explained Burak.

Donations to the NCC Hole in the Wall conservation can be made by calling 1-866-622-7275 or online at natureconservancy.ca/donate. There is an option to chose to keep donations in Saskatchewan at the time of billing.

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