||After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil enjoyed a quieter life on North Pender Island. Since moving to the Gulf Islands, they came to love the sounds of Pender - the racket of a Pileated Woodpecker looking for dinner in a nearby tree, the chorus of courting frogs in spring and the whisper of wind in the trees that surround their house.
The loss of natural areas was of deep concern to Sara and Richard. "When we lived on the lower mainland, many of the areas looked like the
|Penders do today - beautifully natural," said Sara. "I've had to watch as the communities we loved were developed ruthlessly. That type of destruction breaks my heart."
To protect their cherished property from a similar fate, the Steil's enlisted the help of the Islands Trust Conservancy to protect the natural features on their property forever through a NAPTEP conservation covenant. The Steil's Woods covenant will prevent future owners of the property from harming the forest and wetland they so loved. The covenant ensures the Pender Island community will never lose this natural space to development.
In recognition of this commitment, the Steils received an annual exemption on their property taxes through the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP). Administered by the Islands Trust Conservancy, NAPTEP lessens the property tax burden for conservation-minded landowners. Learn more about the benefits of NAPTEP.