We’re so happy to share that in spite of the challenges imposed by the COVID 19 crisis, the Cumberland Community Forest Society has once again rallied to achieve the remarkable.

Leading up to March 31st we were working hard to complete a final $150,000 community fundraising target.  When COVID hit in the middle of that, we were very worried about our ability to meet our targets, with Trivia and other events cancelled. But the force is strong in this forest community and we are still on target to close on the 226 acre parcel this spring.

The protection of nature, forests and watersheds is more important than ever. Nature has provided sanctuary and solace for so many of us during this time. We are so grateful to have this forest to nurture our community on so many levels. Drinking water, healthy ecosystems, health and wellness, habitat protection and more!

We must extend a huge thank you to the family of Rob H Daniel who contributed $50,000 in February 2020 as  a matching fundraising challenge. Our community met this challenge and exceeded it by March 20th – with support from incredible business and private donations. Big shout out to both Harmonic Arts and Cumberland Brewing Company for their incredible ongoing support and contributions to this matching challenge.

We got to about $110,000 on March 20th and then for the final $40,000 we had an anonymous donor provide $20,000 matching, and we raised $10,000 with the Perseverance Auction. Then, The Cumby registrants donated their fees as well (even with the race cancelled for 2020). Although we came in just under the $150,000 ($145,000), its enough for us to proceed and work with sustaining donors over the next 2 months to bridge the difference. Those sustaining donors are critical for our ongoing work.

We’re busy now working with our other funding agencies to complete their requirements (conservation covenants completed etc) in order to collect the rest of the approved funds and complete the transaction.  While things have slowed down at the local government level as they are focused elsewhere (very understandably), we’re all still plugging away. If all goes as planned, the transaction will be completed later this spring.

Next steps:

  1. Complete this transaction over the next few months (including meeting funding requirements)
  2. Diving into restoration planning and collaborative land use planning, identification of projects and priorities
  3. Identification of future areas to protect – working with our community partners. Middle Earth is on the list!
  4. Species at risk research/education, restoration project, climate adaptation, community engagement and more – bats, owls, frogs, fungus and more!

The Cumberland Community Forest Society, in partnership with the Cumberland Bat Project and Elevate, is about to launch a community art project this week called “Going Batty” to mark BC Bat Appreciation Day (April 17th). We’re creating bat shaped banks made of wood for families to paint and decorate and hang from fences, houses, gardens and more.

Community Art meets Species at Risk Education meets Social Distancing.

Donations to the Cumberland Community Forest Society and our ongoing work to protect forests, watersheds and species at risk are very welcome. Donor links can be found at www.cumberlandforest.com/protect/