Nature Canada

A Conversation With Julie Gelfand Legacy Donor and Environmental Leader

When I stand in a park or protected area, I never feel alone…



Julie Gelfand“I have traveled extensively in my life and career and I have often felt like kissing the ground in Canada upon my return. We are so lucky to have such an abundance of nature still left in our country! Other than my backyard of the Ottawa Valley where I cycle, hike, canoe and ski in most of the time, my favourite place in the whole world are the forests in Gwaii Haanas National Park in British Columbia. The ancient rainforest is so thick with moss and incredibly huge trees. I remember feeling like I could just curl up in the forest and disappear! Being in nature calms my mind, and I can often feel any stress leave my face in waves. 

I believe Canadians have an international obligation to protect as much nature as we can. When I was Executive Director at Nature Canada, I was very proud to support the team that achieved a number of amazing milestones together. We were able (among other things) to:

  • Protect millions of hectares of nature in new National Parks like the Torngat Mountains or Ukkusiksalik or Tuktuk Nogait,
  • Take 9 years to push for the first ever federal law to protect our endangered species, 
  • Identify all of Canada’s Important Bird Areas with our Birdlife International partners who were doing the same in countries all around the world.

These crucial victories for nature were only possible because of our collaboration with key partners, and also because of donors like you. In fact, gifts in Wills from donors who came before you helped make these accomplishments come true. And that’s why I’ve made the decision to leave Nature Canada in my Will. 

When I am in nature, I feel connected to it, and to the people that were here before me and the people who will be here after me. Remembering Nature Canada in my Will is my way of making a promise to the future: this work will continue, even after I’m gone.”

– Julie Gelfand
Guardian of Nature Monthly Donor
Whittemore Legacy Circle Donor
Nature Canada Executive Director 1992–2008
Former Commissioner of the Environment and
Sustainable Development, Office of the Auditor General 

Check out our newest video to hear more from Julie, or learn about how to use the power of your Will to protect nature forever.  Feel free to reach out to Jodi if you have questions or would like more information on gifts in the Will. or phone her at 612 562 3447 ext 239.

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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.