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Wells Gray wetland donated to TRU

Image Credit: Thompson Rivers University
September 30, 2014 - 3:40 PM

KAMLOOPS - A wetland in Wells Gray Park has been donated to the local university in the hopes that research at the site will help in the bid in having the park designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The 160-acre parcel, donated by Roland and Anne Neave, will become an ‘exclusive living laboratory’ and will help expand the existing wilderness research area for Thompson Rivers University students.

“We are pleased to be able to continue to support TRU with this beautiful property,” said Roland Neave. “Not only will important research and academic practice be carried out here, but the habitat will remain undisturbed.”

About a third of the property is wetland and features many different animal and bird species.

“This generous gift from the Neave family enables generations of students and faculty to examine delicate and complicated ecosystems that are not found anywhere else in Wells Gray Park and possibly in BC,” said Dean of Science, Dr. Tom Dickinson.

The university has owned and operated the Wells Gray Education and Research Centre since 1994. The facility includes land and buildings and borders 500 hectares of crown land designated for education and research.

The centre currently has a network of trails and sampling sites used for teaching classification of many different ecosystems and habitats. About 1,200 user days are logged at the centre, mostly by faculty and students of TRU, though other researchers and universities use the site as well..

As the owner and operator of Wells Gray Tours, Neave established the first endowment for scholarships for geography students at TRU in 1988, naming it for his late father. This latest gift brings the family’s lifetime giving to nearly $600,000 over the last two decades. Neave was recognized in 2001 as a TRU Distinguished Alumni.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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