McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary - Salt Spring Island

Islands Trust Fund and Partners Permanently Protect
McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, November 5, 2014

The McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary on Salt Spring Island has joined the Islands Trust Fund’s network of over 90 protected places in Canada’s islands in the Salish Sea. Between 1998 and 2002, the Islands Trust Fund, a regional land conservancy, worked in partnership with the Wild Bird Trust of BC and the Waterbird Watch Collective to raise funds for the acquisition of the 5.09 hectare property. Originally protected in 2002, the property recently transferred to the Islands Trust Fund to be managed as a nature sanctuary in perpetuity. In addition, the Salt Spring Island Conservancy now holds a conservation covenant on the property, providing local oversight of the long-term stewardship of the land.

The McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary was once home to over 130 Great Blue Heron nests and was the first Important Bird Area identified in British Columbia.  The herons abandoned the site in 2000, however with ongoing protection there is a possibility the herons could return. The sanctuary protects a forest of western red-cedar and Douglas-fir, as well as large cottonwood, big-leaf maple and trembling aspen trees once used as nest trees by the herons. Threespine stickleback and coastal cutthroat trout are present in McFadden Creek.

“These partners originally came together to protect a heron colony,” said Tony Law, Chair of the Trust Fund Board.  “Now, with their support, the Islands Trust Fund’s role is to maintain this land in its natural state, providing habitat for all the species found there - and for the herons, should they return.”

A management plan will be developed for the nature sanctuary, which will describe the species and ecosystems currently found there and will recommend management actions, including a program for annual monitoring.  As a nature sanctuary, the property will not be open to public access.

“The Salt Spring Conservancy congratulates all of the partners for bringing this land transfer to a successful conclusion,” said Christine Torgrimson, Conservancy executive director. “We’re delighted to hold a permanent conservation covenant on the sanctuary and work hand in hand with the Islands Trust Fund to conserve a place that so many Salt Spring donors helped purchase over a decade ago.”

The partners would like to acknowledge and thank all the donors who contributed to the original purchase of the McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary. To learn more about how the Islands Trust Fund protects land, please contact them at 250-405-5186, or visit


Media Contact

Jennifer Eliason, Manager, Islands Trust Fund, 250-405-5191 



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Photo Caption: McFadden Creek by Islands Trust Fund staff.




Page last updated: 10/02/16
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