||Born in Woonsocket, South Dakota in 1918, John Osland served aboard US Coast Guard ships during the Second World War before coming to Lasqueti in the summer of 1948. He found a piece of land near the base of Mount Trematon with ancient trees and green pastures that would support a quiet, simple life.
John lived lightly on the land, leaving only his bicycle tracks along his grassy driveway. Despite the heavy logging on the island in his early years on Lasqueti, John's ancient trees remained. He got immense pleasure from walking among his big firs.
During his 62 years on his Lasqueti property, he cared deeply for the nature around him and all it provided him with. In his later years, he began to worry about the future of his beloved trees, his land and the animals he shared it with. With the help of his friends and a lawyer, John made a plan for his property for when he was gone. He bequeathed the land in his will to the Islands Trust Conservancy, specifying that the land be protected as a nature reserve after he passed away. He told his friends he hoped people who visited would enjoy the delights of nature and care for the land with as much love as he did.
John passed away at his Lasqueti Island homestead on March 10, 2010 at the age of 91. In keeping with his final wishes, his property was transferred to the Islands Trust Conservancy and is now protected as the John Osland Nature Reserve. John, a notable Lasqueti Island character, and his gift have created a beautiful and permanent testament to a life lived gently on the land.
"There is no better legacy for John's life lived gently on the land than a row of exuberant autumn crocuses leading to the site where his house once stood, in the heart of a new Lasqueti nature reserve"
- Donald Gordon, friend of John's, October 2011
You've cared for your land during your lifetime. We can care for it after you're gone. Learn more about how you can gift the gift of a nature reserve in your will. Learn more
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