Giving Stories


Giving Stories

Nanaimo & Area Land Trust has been blessed by acts of incredible generosity. We’d like to share a few …

Anneke & Peter van Kerkoerle
with their dogs Gypsy & Kuddles

Anneke and Peter van Kerkoerle

van Kerkoerle Property Life-Estate – Parnassian Woods

Many of you reading this were friends and acquaintances of Anneke and Peter van Kerkoerle. You already know that the van Kerkoerles were active participants in—and supporters of—numerous social and environmental initiatives, both locally and beyond.

Through the years, Peter and Anneke supported NALT in many ways: financially, as hosts of our summertime picnics, and as a home to the Natural Abundance Native Plant Nursery. They also sought ways to protect the land they loved and cared for more than 50 years, and to provide for its stewardship after their passing. With NALT, they explored different avenues to achieve this goal. The agricultural values of the land offered some protection as part of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). However, the ALR regulations restrict use of ALR land to agricultural purposes only – or those activities that allow the land to be easily returned to agricultural use. One unintentional side effect of ALR status is that, other than in exceptional circumstances, it precludes registering a Conservation Covenant on property title to protect the conservation values of the land. NALT communicated with the governing body of the ALR, the Agricultural Land Commission, and was denied an allowance to place a Conservation Covenant over the natural areas of the van Kerkoerle property.

Anneke and Peter van Kerkoerle

Anneke and Peter crafted a two-part solution for protecting the natural values of their property. First, the van Kerkoerles and NALT developed a Voluntary Stewardship Agreement. This document contains many of the purposes of a Conservation Covenant without being able to be registered on title. The second part of this stewardship plan was the granting of a Life Estate for ownership of the land to NALT. When a Life Estate is granted by the current owners of a property to a new owner, the property title is transferred to the recipient of the Life Estate (in this case, NALT), while the granter of the Life Estate (the van Kerkoerles) continued to reside on, care for, and enjoy the land they love exactly as they always did. With the passing of Peter in 2019 and Anneke in 2021, The Life Estate concluded and NALT assumed full stewardship of the land.

We at NALT are humbled by the generosity of Anneke and Peter that prompted them to gift their land to our organization – with the confidence that we will manage it into the future with the same care and considerations for the natural values as they demonstrated with such love and commitment for so many years. NALT accepts the responsibility of stewarding the natural values of the van Kerkoerle property and will enthusiastically abide with the wording of the Voluntary Stewardship Agreement.

Peter and Anneke were very special people and pillars of our community, demonstrating for all of us the ways to give back to both community and the land – in both word and deed. We honour their commitment to caring for the community and the environment and the legacy they have gifted to NALT.

Martha with one of her goats

Martha’s Place

NALT was first introduced to Martha Warde in the summer of 2004 by her friend and later estate executor, Richard Bridge. Several NALT people met with Richard and his son at Martha’s place – a 22-acre wooded property in Qualicum Bay. There we also met Martha and her goats; then we followed Richard along woodland trails to the back corner of the property where we encountered Nash Creek – a small, clear, salmon-bearing stream. Martha was 87 years old when we met her. Previously, while preparing her will, Martha had indicated to Richard that she would like her property to be gifted to a conservation group that would take care of her trees and other habitat values. Richard suggested NALT – and that’s how it all started.

Over the next three years, NALT volunteers and staff got better acquainted with Martha and her property through several visits. As Martha became more frail, NALT summer staff sometimes spent a day with her, helping with weeding the garden and other light tasks. They also interviewed her and learned some of her life story.

I found this property in Qualicum Beach and we put a bid on it. Milton and I bought the property in 1971 and moved in in 1973 [and] finished building [the house] while we lived in it. We cleared just enough land for gardening and left the rest alone for wildlife. I have enjoyed the garden’s abundant growth, which is enough to feed my goats and me.

I want to leave the property to Nanaimo & Area Land Trust because Milton and I were always devoted to the natural environment and the preservation of it; we cut only those trees that needed to be cut. Bears, cougars and deer are often on the property. – Martha Warde

In the few years that we knew her, Martha’s health deteriorated. In 2007, she moved into a nursing home in Qualicum. She died in June 2010 at the age of 93. Martha had requested that a conservation covenant be placed on the property, but Agricultural Land Reserve zoning is a barrier to a meaningful conservation covenant. Instead, NALT signed a voluntary stewardship agreement with the executor, and title to the property was transferred to NALT on June 5th 2014. A management plan has been developed and stewardship activities have followed.

Erika in her garden

NALT has been honoured to be the recipient of several bequests form our donors through the years. It is humbling to be remembered in someone’s will and to be the beneficiary of their stewardship legacy.

Planned Giving – Erika Lockwood’s generous legacy

Erika Lockwood was a NALT a generous donor. Her generosity extended to her estate planning. One day, included with the regular mail, a thick, official-looking envelope with an unfamiliar return address arrived at the NALT office.

The documents included a letter from the executor of the estate of Erika Lockwood – informing NALT of a very generous donation of 10% of her estate. NALT knew Erika as a donor to the campaign to purchase Section 13 in the Linley Valley (now Cottle Lake Park in Linley Valley), and following then as a NALT member. Erika had some conversations with one of our founding directors, Barbara Houston, about ways she could continue to support NALT, and in addition to campaign donations and membership, decided to include NALT as a beneficiary of her estate. NALT was not aware of Erika’s plans and received an unexpected bequest in 2014.

For large unallocated donations, the NALT Finance Committee deliberates how and where to best allocate the funds depending on NALT’s operations and Initiative needs. To direct your donation to a specific initiative, it may be best to contact NALT and discuss your wishes when planning your estate legacy donations.

David & Ria

Shares in Stewardship! NALT has been the recipient of many generous donations of shares, stocks and bonds over the years. David Stanley and Ria De Vos have shared their donation story to illustrate the process.

David and Ria

If you have been a NALT member or supporter since the days of the Mount Benson acquisition campaign, you may recall the front-page story about David and Ria donating $55,000 worth of shares towards that acquisition in 2007—their first donation of shares after the federal government brought in a new tax law in 2006.

David and Ria have continued with their support of several initiatives and organizations in our community. The following is an example of that ongoing generosity.

A phone call from David and Ria one late Friday afternoon left NALT staff with the feeling that this incredible couple had just “made our year”!

David informed us that once more they were about to make a “substantial” donation of shares to NALT; and he wanted to talk about some options on how best to allocate it. Then he named the amount —“about $80,000”—and my jaw dropped! In fact, once the dust settled on the transfer, what NALT actually received was $83,181 worth of shares.

After discussing allocation of the donation with David and Ria, the funds were dedicated to support of NALT operations and the Nanaimo River Acquisition fund in discreet amounts.

How it works: in the summer of 2006, the federal government brought in a tax law which allows a donor to a Canadian charity to donate shares, stocks, bonds or real estate and receive a tax receipt for the full value at the time of transfer. The donor can then apply the receipt towards a reduction in income tax at the end of that tax year. This kind of donation works best if the shares or property was purchased at very low value and is now valued much higher—which would trigger a substantial capital gain if sold outright by the owner/donor. And it only works if the donor does not sell the shares or property but transfers it to the charity. The charity can then sell it outright or keep it until they are ready to sell. NALT’s usual policy is to sell the donation immediately or soon after acquiring it. We are guided by our investment advisor, Integral Wealth Securities Ltd, in this decision. (Please check with your financial advisor for the most up-to-date information on charitable giving.)

NALT is so fortunate to have such generous benefactors.