#CraftChange Partners: CPAWS

As the only nationwide charity dedicated to preserving our public land and water, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society plays a major role in how we interact with our world.

From fighting for more national parks to safeguarding our oceans and freshwater reserves, CPAWS has protected more than half a million-sq-km of land in Canada over the past 50 years, which is bigger than the entire territory of Yukon!

This is why we are proud to be a partner with the Ottawa Valley Chapter of CPAWS, having donated two per cent of all of sales at Maker House from January to March of 2016 to their #MarkItAPark campaign, which is fighting to turn Gatineau Park into a protected national park in Canada.

You may have thought Gatineau Park was a national park, but it’s actually only a park by name...

Most of Gatineau Park belongs to the federal government, which then allows the National Capital Commission (NCC) to manage the land. However, since it is not a national park, it does not have the permanent legal protection provided to “real” national parks and this is causing damage to occur.

Without having governing legislation and full parliamentary oversight (which is given to all our Canadian national parks under the National Parks Act) portions of Gatineau Park are being subjected to the development of housing, shopping centres, and new roads.

Excess development and construction can harm the 118 rare or endangered species living within the park, pollute the region’s lakes and wetlands, and destroy the beautiful tranquility has exists in Gatineau Park for decades.

However, this doesn’t have to be.

Gatineau Park has the potential to become a core-protected area within a much larger region that protects natural ecosystems and maintains viable populations of all native species. The lands surrounding the Park can be properly managed to allow for corridors and connections with other natural areas. The park can continue to be rich in biodiversity.

CPAWS is calling on Parliament to establish Gatineau Park as a protected park in legislation. It wants the priority of the park’s management to be conservation and ecological integrity, not development. CPAWS wants the National Capital Commission to have the right of first refusal on the sale of private property located inside Gatineau Park and for park’s boundaries to only be changed by parliamentary approval, as is the case for Canada’s national parks.

As a protector of Gatineau Park since 1970, we believe CPAWS has the power to #CraftChange, which is why we wish to support them with their initiative.

If you would like to help spread the word about the Gatineau Park campaign, or even volunteer with the group, you can contact CPAWS at ov-outreach@cpaws.orgfor more info.

With your support, we can give future generations the chance to experience Canada’s irreplaceable wilderness in the heart of our National Capital Region.