Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Anniversary CAMAS Fund

Photo of a camas in flower on Mt Parke A singular Camas on Mt Parke
Photo credit: Miriam Isaac-Renton

About the Camas and the Fund

Camas, Quamash, or Indian Hyacinth ranges from southern British Columbia to northern California, and east to Utah, Wyoming and Montana. It grows in the wild in great numbers, especially in moist meadows.

The Camassia species were an important food source for the Coast Salish peoples, the bulbs being pit roasted or boiled. When baked they have a flavour similar to sweet potato and when dried they can be pounded into flour. There is some evidence that Camas meadows were re-seeded after harvest even though numbers taken were always a fraction of the available plants. Further, the carefully shaped digging sticks are thought to have benefited the health of the meadow by repeated aeration of the soil - a cropping technique rooted in the culture that by and large has been lost to us!

The Camas's distinctive petal shape and delicate colouration, the annual progressive blooming habit, the historic abundance in Garry Oak ecosystems, and, as a food source, the ability to sustain harvest, are attributes of this species. It is for this reason that the Camas was chosen as the symbol for the fund to be launched at the Conservancy's Tenth Anniversary Gala Celebration.

What is the CAMAS Fund?

The Mayne Island Conservancy Society:

  •   - Acts to Conserve or restore sensitive terrestrial and riparian ecosystems

  •   - With sufficient resources, will Acquire lands for public use or arrange protective covenants where purchase is not possible

  •   - Manages sensitive ecosystems on behalf of Government and reports on their health and diversity, And

  • CAMAS Fund logo
  •   - Promotes & encourages Stewardship by landholders and the community

Government (all levels) and commercial or foundation grants largely fund our Conservation, restoration and Stewardship projects and our Management activities attract a fee. Administrative costs are rarely if ever funded by the grants and sponsorships currently available to us. The report to the MICS 2013 Annual General Meeting looks at our income stream and shows that last year such administrative costs were just covered by donations. Occasionally an opportunity arises to buy private land which would allow us to provide long term protection to an important sensitive ecosystem. Until now, MICS has had no Acquisition Fund to use for this purpose.

Accordingly the Board of Directors of the Mayne Island Conservancy Society have established the CAMAS Fund with the intention of building a reserve that might one day allow the Society to buy property on our island, thus adding to the smallest inventory of land in public hands of any of the Gulf Islands. The fund could also be used to meet the costs associated with establishing binding covenants.

CAMAS Fund Target

The May Newsletter carried a "soft launch" of the CAMAS Fund by offering it as a selectable option on the mail-in membership/donation form. We are pleased to report that many have chosen that avenue for their gifts. However the real kick-off for the fund will be our tenth Anniversary Gala on August 3rd at the Community Centre (See the sidebar for all the details!) We have set a fundraising target of $10,000.00 for this event which will cover the unavoidable expenses (rent, insurance, food, drink, music etc.) of the affair and provide a substantial contribution to the fund. In addition we will offer the fund as a destination for your gifts in years to come.

It is the intention of the Board to transfer, at each fiscal year end, an appropriate amount from the Society's unrestricted reserves into the CAMAS Fund. Over time we hope to build a nest egg that could be applied to the specific purpose of land acquisition and covenant protection when such an opportunity arises. A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.....

How to Contribute


Send your donations to:
Mayne Island Conservancy Society
Box 31
Mayne, BC
V0N 2J0
Or deliver your cheque to our office at the Root Seller - 478 Village Bay Road


If you wish to make your donation online we recommend using Canada Helps.

Canada Helps is a Canadian registered charity that will accept your donation, provide an income tax receipt and channel your donation to the Mayne Island Conservancy's bank - designated for the CAMAS Fund. Click the Donate Now button to be linked to a page where you can specify any amount as a single or a monthly payment. You can add a message to your gift and Memorial Donations can be set up simply and easily:

Donate to our CAMAS Fund Through!

If you want to know more about giving through Canada Helps please visit their donor's info page. Should you prefer to use PayPal there is a link to our PayPal account here

We welcome Legacy gifts as well as donations of property, securities and insurance policies. There are tax advantages for you the donor in gifting marketable securities when compared with gifts of cash of a like amount. You are welcome to contact Leanna Boyer @ 250-539-5168 for more information on this matter as well as estate planning considerations.

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Last modified: August 27 2013 17:56:01.