Creating a Genetic Corridor
Point Pelee National Park requested a plan to raise $250,000 for a new visitor centre featuring a diorama displaying extinct and endangered species indigenous to the park’s ecosystem.
In NetGain’s view, the Park’s case for support could be strengthened by aligning it with the challenge of protecting ground species rather than commemorating their loss. By putting visitor centre campaign in the context of greater challenges (agricultural pollution of ground water and genetic violation) staff and volunteers were re-energised and prospective donors were engaged in new ways.
NetGain drew up a plan to acquire land through strategic purchasing and easements to create a genetic corridor up the coast to the Hillman Marsh Conservation Area. This plan brought the Park’s staff and board executives to a closed door meeting with major environmental funders to get feedback about the plan. The resulting plan rolled the new visitor centre costs into a $6 million scheme to halt species loss due to genetic isolation, buffer the effects of agricultural pollution, educate visitors about the Park’s needs, and accommodate academic researchers who would study and report on ecological phenomena. With revived morale and strong indications for support, the Park began championing the plan within Parks Canada and the affected communities in Essex County and continues in this process today.