The Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is celebrating a milestone anniversary this year.
The park is heading into its 10th year, and to mark the occasion the Glenbow Ranch Foundation is kicking off an interactive fundraising campaign.
Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation Executive Director, Sarah Parker says that since May of last year, the park has seen a 167 percent increase in visitation. She says that this campaign will be instrumental in protecting the park and maintaining the health of its fragile ecosystem for years to come.
"Grasslands in Alberta are quickly disappearing due to a variety of reasons and Glenbow Ranch protects up to four per cent of what's left of Alberta's native fescue grasslands," says Parker. "They're home to incredible wildlife, the park has species at risk living here, we have tiny insects all the way up to giant moose who call this park home."
Protecting such a large piece of the untouched native ecosystem is quite the undertaking and Parker says that the foundation relies solely on grants and donations for support and that this initiative is the most ambitious fundraising drive in the foundation's history.
In marking the park's 10th anniversary, the foundation wanted to find a meaningful way to engage everyday people who love the park, and with that in mind they came up with the "Steward an Acre" fundraiser campaign.
"What the "Steward an Acre" fundraiser campaign does, is it allows people to steward an acre for $150 and that cares for an acre for three years," says Parker.
One hundred per cent of those funds will go to the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation. Parker says that residents who invest in this three-year initiative will have the opportunity to choose a specific acre that speaks to them.
"People can actually go to the website and they can actually find the exact acre they want to steward and put that number in when they're putting in their order," says Parker. "What they receive is a certificate, description of the area and a fun bumper sticker showing that they support the foundation."
Parker says that perhaps the greatest perk to stewarding an acre at the park is that donors will have an opportunity to name that acre and they can provide a donor write-up that will be available on their website.
The Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation has set a goal to have donors steward 750 acres of land.
You can steward an acre of protected land at the Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park here.