• Located in the City of Edmonton
• 233 Acres
• Old growth forest and prime agricultural lands
Help conserve the largest old growth forest and best soils in Edmonton city limits!
Visser Conservation Lands
The Visser Conservation Lands, located in northeast Edmonton, include 233 acres of precious agricultural lands, and the largest patch of old growth forest within city limits. EALT hopes to put a Conservation Easement on the whole area, to ensure that the agricultural lands here continue to provide local food for the Edmonton region, and also so that this important wildlife habitat is conserved in perpetuity.
The old growth forest is mainly mixedwoods, with Balsam Poplar and Trembling Aspen, but has a pocket of White Spruce forest as well. The forest has never been logged, and the land has never been mined for gravel. The land is adjacent to the North Saskatchewan River, which is an important corridor for wildlife. Over 90 species of birds have been observed here, as well as moose, deer, Canadian Toad, and many other species, including Species at Risk. The City of Edmonton recognizes this land as being at the heart of an Ecological Core Area for the City. The landowner also allows the Edmonton Native Healing Centre to use the forest for ceremonies.
The agricultural lands here provide fresh vegetables to market gardens in the Edmonton area. The unique micro-climate and soils produce food sooner than most local farms. Lady Flower Gardens also operates here, running programs to enable underprivileged and vulnerable groups to participate in gardening activities, giving participants the benefits of working in the soil and fresh air, plus allowing them to take some of the harvest home. Lady Flower Gardens donates the remaining food to the Edmonton Food Bank, Hope Mission, the Bissell Centre, and other groups.
Conservation Easement Funding
In order for EALT to proceed with the Conservation Easement, we need to raise funds to pay for initial capital as well as ongoing costs. In the last year, Doug Visser and EALT launched a stewardship funding campaign and this was successful, thanks largely to Doug’s matching contribution. Land conservation is an expensive endeavor, and to actually secure the land, we require around $30,000 at the outset. Despite the significance of this land, its native habitat, and the Species at Risk found there, our application to the Provincial Land Trust Grant Program last year for securing the native habitat was declined. This is unfortunate to say the least, since it pays for the initial year costs of legal and appraisal fees, and the baseline documentation and conservation management planning, which all land trusts are obliged to do. We have created a campaign that will assist EALT with these “Front End” costs associated with setting up a conservation easement.
The landowner, Doug Visser, has agreed to match any public donations up to $10,000. Click here to contribute to this campaign, to ensure that the Visser Conservation Lands are conserved in perpetuity.
Forests and Farmlands Tour
To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, and kick off a capital fundraising campaign, EALT co-hosted a Forests and Farmlands Tour at the Visser lands.
Why These Lands Have Value
To hear about why the lands have so many valuable aspects, see this short presentation to Edmonton’s NextGen.