Taking conservation to new heights

An innovative conservation event provides supporters with a once in a lifetime opportunity

Pictured in front of a Kittyhawk fighter plane at Flight to Rescue Our Wetlands, from left to right is: Dave Williams, James “Stocky” Edwards, Toni Edwards and Greg Sawchuck. ©DUC

Sometimes when you want to show supporters the type of work you do on the ground, it helps to take to the sky, says BC DUC director, Greg Sawchuck.

“It opens your eyes up…you’re seeing everything the way the ducks see it.”

Along with fellow DUC volunteer Chris Clarkson, Sawchuck organized Flight to Rescue Our Wetlands, a conservation event held on May 19, that took supporters to new heights.

As part of the event, five donors were flown over 10 estuaries that line the east coast of Vancouver Island, and form a portion of the pacific flyway.

“Everyone…recognized the value of what we do, and that at DUC we put the money on the ground, into conservation,” says Sawchuck.

The event didn’t end once the propellers stilled. Following the flight, the group traveled to a private hanger at Victoria International Airport, where they were able to see a Kittyhawk fighter plane close-up and hear from James “Stocky” Edwards.

A long-time DUC supporter, and World War II flying ace, Edwards discussed his years as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force and his experience manning a Kittyhawk.

Stocky at Flight to Rescue Our Wetlands
James “Stocky” Edwards talks to attendees at Flight to Rescue Our Wetlands. ©DUC

According to Sawchuck, the event was a resounding success. “This wasn’t something you could go and buy off the shelf,” says the director, underlining the specialness of the day. “It was a one-off.”

The event raised $55,000 for DUC’s Rescue Our Wetlands campaign. However, Sawchuck isn’t taking time to sit back. He’s already thinking about the next fundraiser. “There’s a bunch of benevolent people out there…you just need to ask them, and show them what you do,” he says.

Changing the relationship we have with nature

Rescue Our Wetlands is the largest conservation campaign in North America’s history. Learn how you can help us make a lasting difference for Canada's water, wildlife and communities.

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