As a homeowner, naturalist, or outdoors enthusiast, you may have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of our most threatened populations of Sharp-tailed Snakes or Western Painted Turtles on Vancouver Island. You may be familiar with the elusive call of the Western Screech Owl, or the distinctive swoop of our local bats. For others, you may still be waiting for that extra special wildlife encounter. As a member or supporter of Habitat Acquisition Trust, you are likely familiar with our programs that aim to shed light on many of these threatened animals and take action to enhance, protect, and restore their precious habitats. What you may not be as familiar with, are the humble heroes that make this important work possible: the people that make significant contributions that support our habitat stewardship programs.
One person that has made a significant and lasting impact on HAT’s Species of Concern Program is Hugh Mogensen. People like Hugh Mogensen are the reason we are able to take significant strides in protecting, restoring and enhancing habitat for wildlife. Not only was Hugh’s generous donation impactful, but it also helped leverage matching funding to create an even more meaningful and sustainable contribution to species of concern in our region. The momentum created by these caring gestures empowers other people in the community to come together and reach shared conservation goals.
In 2012, Mr. Mogensen gifted $50,000 to Habitat Acquisition Trust. Since then, his generosity has gone towards everything from uncovering rare Sharp-tailed Snake habitat, installing safe nesting grounds for Western Painted Turtles, and increasing awareness and knowledge of our local threatened bat populations through coordinated citizen science projects. Hugh’s gift is a lasting legacy for nature that has made a positive contribution to conservation and a lasting mark on the community.
As it turns out, Hugh has been not only supporting HAT’s efforts to protect local wildlife, but he has been lending a helping hand in his own personal way as well. “I was driving along Oldfield Road in Saanich when I saw a turtle crossing. There was a car coming, so I stopped to let them know, and help the turtle across the road. It was a father and his kids, he was glad that we stopped them. We got to show the children the turtle before it went on its way,” tells Hugh.
We can’t thank Hugh enough for his thoughtfulness, but he confesses, “My wife Helen was the real philanthropist, she was a very generous person. I am more practical. You know, I’ve looked after my children quite well. I pay a lot of income tax. So, I get some satisfaction to give some money away and pay less taxes.” Donating to HAT can be a prudent way to ensure that your contribution to society goes towards what matters to you the most, and you can feel really good about it too. (Top right photo: Helen Mogensen, left, Hugh Mogensen, right)
Hugh was first introduced to Habitat Acquisition Trust through his son-in-law, Biologist Christian Engelstoft. Christian Engelstoft is an expert Biologist working with HAT that has extensive experience surveying reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. Christian’s palpable passion for better understanding and protecting wildlife inspired Hugh to support local conservation. It’s the caring supporters like Hugh that have helped HAT take positive leaps that make lasting contributions to science and habitat protection in our region.
Mr. Mogensen also manages the Hugh and Helen Mogensen Foundation. A fund established through the Victoria Foundation that allows Hugh to donate the interest each year to charity. There are so many wonderful ways a person can make a difference, and all it takes is a little inspiration and kindness. Hugh’s gift to habitat stewardship is a shining example that we are so glad to honour.
Thank you to everyone that makes protecting nature in our region possible, we’re making a difference together every day. For the people we love, the wild places that shape us, and the wildlife that inspires us.