Kyle Marquardt


  • Number of Completed Projects (2013-2014)
  • 8
  • Acres Conserved
  • 32,155
  • Land Value
  • $37,773,800
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 270

Conserving the Waldron

Those who have driven along the Cowboy Trail know this landscape well, with its spectacular scenery and incredible diversity.

Established in 1883 by Duncan McNab McEachran of Montreal with financial backing predominantly from Sir John Walrond-Walrond, the Waldron Conservation Project (Waldron) is a ranch in Alberta’s southern foothills.

In April 2013, 72 ranchers of the Waldron Grazing Co-operative Ltd. voted in favour of an option for NCC to acquire a conservation agreement on the 30,535-acre (12,357-hectare) Waldron lands. This was the first opportunity since the late 1800s to conserve this landscape for all time. It was also a first for NCC in successfully negotiating a conservation agreement with a rancher-owned cooperative.

The conservation agreement means the ranchers will continue to graze and manage the lands as they have for more than 130 years, while the natural values of the landscape will be protected for all time.

It also protects the headwaters of critical streams and rivers for the entire Canadian Prairies, which provide water for millions of Canadians and countless wildlife species.

In September 2013, NCC’s Alberta Region made national headlines when we publicly announced the historic agreement and the urgency to raise the remaining $3 million to meet our fundraising goals.

A number of major donors helped make this project a reality, including:

  • The Government of Alberta, which contributed $12.2 million through the Alberta Land Stewardship Grant Program;
  • The Government of Canada, which contributed $4 million through the Natural Areas Conservation Program; and
  • The Calgary Foundation, which provided the remaining $1 million to bring this project across the finish line.
  • The Waldron Grazing Co-operative Ltd.

In just one day, our volunteers counted more than 90 butterflies from 17 species on a property in the Waterton Park Front — results that were shared with the North American Butterfly Association.


Heroes don’t always wear spandex and capes

Sometimes they’re the ones sporting muddy work boots.

Such is the case with our Conservation Volunteers — the everyday heroes behind NCC’s stewardship program.

In 2013, during Environment Week, close to 50 interns and staff from Nexen Inc. travelled to NCC’s Boote property near Pine Lake. As part of the company's Reach Out community investment program, they were there to lend a hand and improve the quality of the local wetland habitat.

Working in teams, volunteers cleared invasive caragana shrubs, pulled out dilapidated wire fences and removed 848 kilograms of garbage.


NCC donors showing their support with a cuppa

Two like-minded groups can create a really powerful partnership.

Over the last few years, Good Earth locations across western Canada have held a spring fundraising campaign for NCC. Each location collects donations for NCC throughout the campaign. They’ve also sold NCC travel mugs and given away free coffee in exchange for a donation to NCC on Earth Day.

Eskenazi says helping organizations like NCC is an important part of her company.

When Michael [Going] and I founded Good Earth Coffeehouse in 1991, we felt that being environmentally responsible should be part of our mission as a business. What this means has changed a lot over the years, but has always included partnering with organizations that are doing important environmental and/or conservation work, to help spread their message." Nan Eskenazi, co-founder of Good Earth Coffeehouse

For NCC this partnership is about more than the money. It connects us with new supporters, and creates opportunities for people to learn about conservation.

Thank you to Good Earth Coffeehouse and all of their locations for making the NCC campaign a success!