Conservation Holidays

The Land Conservancy of BC is working to build a culture of conservation by promoting true eco-tourism in British Columbia. Too often the word “eco-tourism” is greenwashing used by commercial tourism operators and resorts to justify high prices. To fly halfway around the world on a polluting jet aircraft to join an “eco-tour” is a bit of a farce. Luckily, Vancouver Island residents now have the opportunity to join some real eco-tours right in their own backyard.

The Conservation Holiday program of the Land Conservancy will appeal to people with a passion for the environment, heritage, or agriculture while enjoying a holiday experience off the beaten track. For example, from Friday, July 17, to Sunday, July 19, 2009, you can have a weekend of camping at the Wildwood Ecoforest in Cedar, helping out with the lakeside cabin restoration project, for only $160 plus GST. You must bring your own tent but food is included and everyone helps out with the cooking. For $65 plus GST you can participate in either the spring planting or fall harvest at Madrona Farm in Saanich. These one-day Sunday events are a must for anyone with a green thumb. Another unique tour provides for a September weekend at a cottage on South Winchelsea Island off Nanoose Bay for only $195 plus GST. The tour’s mission is to remove garbage from the beaches of  South Winchelsea, a collective outdoor effort enjoyed by everyone. It’s a rare opportunity to experience this remote island, so book now as space is limited.

The Land Conservancy has a variety of other holidays at their mainland properties which you can peruse on their website.  Not only are these trips wonderfully refreshing as breaks from work but you get to meet some great people while supporting a good cause. TLC also has five self-catering cabins available for daily or weekly rental. Discounts are available on both tours and rentals if you pay $35 to become a TLC member. From more information call 1-888-738-0533.

David Stanley says: May 26, 2009 at 8:19 am

Thanks for the comment, Judy. I’m aware that your own blog My Cohousing Adventure is a good source of information on eco-travel around Vancouver Island. The photos in your recent post about Vargas Island convey a sense of the true beauty in our backyard.

Also see the Nanaimo 50-Kilometer Holiday on http://gonanaimo.com/tours/

Judy Roberts says: May 26, 2009 at 7:33 am

Thank you for sharing the idea of local conservation vacations, David. I think it’s a wonderful concept.

Julie Johnston of the GreenHeart Education website ( http://www.greenhearted.org ) recently introduced me to the idea of the 100 Mile Vacation (I guess the term was inspired by the 100 Mile Diet).

Those of us who live on Vancouver Island are fortunate enough to be surrounded by fabulous scenery and activities. It’s very easy for us to be local tourists.

But the notion of volunteering an an environmental or agricultural project is new to me, and it is one that I will consider.