Habitat Acquisition Trust helps people understand and care for natural environments in the Capital region. We are a non-profit, local land trust.
HAT works to protect ecosystems and habitat permanently. We do this in three ways:
- land acquisition through purchase or donation;
- conservation covenants;
- education & stewardship.
HAT accepts donations of property, purchases land, and helps landowners establish permanent legal restrictions to protect natural habitats. HAT works in partnership with governments and other non-profit organizations to achieve our goals. We also work with communities, schools, and individual landowners to enhance habitat protection on private land - making everyone part of the solution!
Where We Work
HAT works in a spectacular part of Canada, in the south-west corner of British Columbia. Our mandate area centres around the Capital Regional District of British Columbia, and consists of southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. This is a special part of Canada where the warm, mild climate is home to species and habitats that cannot be found elsewhere in Canada - and some of these ecosystems and species are the most endangered in the country. A disproportionate number of BC's threatened and endangered species occur in the region, which also has a disproportionate amount of British Columbia's private lands.
Every year, more and more tourists and new residents come to our region to enjoy the mild climate and spectacular scenery. Development places ever-increasing pressure on our disappearing habitats.
Our Goals & Strategy
HAT recently refreshed our strategy through developing a new 5-year plan. Our mission remains the same: conserving natural environments on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. We have 5 goals as we work towards protected habitats for the region:
- Protected habitat through land acquisition and conservation covenants
- Improved stewardship of natural environments
- Strengthened community support for conservation
- HAT known throughout region as a progressive and stable organisation
- Improved performance through organisational excellence within HAT.
For full details of HAT's strategies to achieve each of these goals, read our 5-year plan.
HAT History & Structure
HAT was established in 1996 by the Victoria Natural History Society. Our first project was at salmon-bearing Ayum Creek, and that acquisition spawned the whole movement to protect the Sooke Hills as a greenbelt.
HAT is a registered society with an elected Board of Directors. We also have several committees that help our staff to direct and run our projects (Stewardship, Land, Communication, etc). As a registered society, HAT has a constitution and a set of by-laws to which we adhere.