The McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary on Salt Spring Island joined the Islands Trust Fund’s network of protected places in 2014.
Between 1998 and 2002, the Islands Trust Fund worked in partnership with the Wild Bird Trust of BC and the Waterbird Watch Collective to raise funds for the acquisition of the 5.09 hectare property. Originally protected in 2002, the property was transferred to the Islands Trust Fund in 2014 to be managed as a nature sanctuary in perpetuity.
The sanctuary protects a forest of western red-cedar and Douglas-fir, as well as large cottonwood, big-leaf maple and trembling aspen trees. Threespine stickleback and coastal cutthroat trout are present in McFadden Creek.
The McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary was once home to over 130 Great Blue Heron nests and was the first Important Bird Area identified in British Columbia. The herons abandoned the site in 2000, however with ongoing protection there is a possibility the herons could return.
The Salt Spring Island Conservancy holds a conservation covenant on McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary, providing local oversight of the long-term stewardship of the land.
The primary management priority for McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary is to protect the unique ecological values in perpetuity in order to support a diverse range of native plants and animals. The management plan will guide the Islands Trust Fund and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy in minimizing threats to the reserve including encroachment by non-native invasive plants, unauthorized tree cutting and over-grazing by Black-tailed Deer and Eastern Cottontail Rabbits. Additionally, disturbance will be minimized in hopes that Great Blue Herons may return to the Sanctuary for nesting. The management plan for McFadden Creek Nature Sanctuary can be viewed here.