The BC Parks Foundation has received its largest single donation ever in the organization’s history, and one of the largest in the province’s environmental conservation history.
A $ 14.5 million donation has been made by Montreal-based tech leader and environmental activist Dax Dasilva through his new non-profit environmental alliance, the Age of Union Alliance.
This new funding will help the BC Parks Foundation expand its work to improve and expand the province’s park system.
Dasilva says he has deep roots in BC when he was born and raised in Vancouver, and as a teenager participated in the protests against logging of old forests in Clayoquot Sound.
He founded Lightspeed Commerce in 2005, but he decided to leave his CEO position in February 2022 to focus on the Age of Union Alliance, which he launched in October 2021.
“It is incredibly important for me to see through the necessary conservation work to protect the province’s precious land,” Dasilva said in a statement. “With these funds, we hope to preserve this country for generations to come and inspire others to take similar action both locally and around the world.”
His charitable contribution through the BC Parks Foundation has funded the purchase of 733 acres of valley floor and riverfront properties in Pitt River Watershed, located northeast of Metro Vancouver. This reduces the likelihood of developments that may affect the area.
The watershed is considered to be a sensitive ecosystem for eagles, wild salmon, grizzly bears and moose. The glacier-lined Pitt River flows into Pitt Lake, near Coquitlam.
In addition, $ 1 million from the donation will go to a crowdfunding campaign to buy the 23-acre Eagle Sanctuary in the French Creek Estuary between Qualicum Beach and Parksville on Vancouver Island. This is an important gathering area for eagles that rely on tall, mature trees, buffered from human activity, to feed on mussels displaced by burning and tides, and other food sources.
“We are incredibly grateful to Dax Dasilva and his team at Age of Union for this landmark gift that supports our work to keep British Columbia beautiful,” said Andrew Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation.
“Age of Union inspires and joins tens of thousands of British Colombians and our supporters from around the world in creating endangered wildlife reserves, combating climate change and improving human health. This historic gift is a great reason for everyone to celebrate.”