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Nature Conservancy of Canada gets 193 acres donated for protection near Winnipeg

The Nature Conservancy of Canada was donated 193 acres of land to protect about an hour east of Winnipeg in Ste. Rita, located next to the Agassiz Provincial Forest. (Source: The Nature Conservancy of Canada) The Nature Conservancy of Canada was donated 193 acres of land to protect about an hour east of Winnipeg in Ste. Rita, located next to the Agassiz Provincial Forest. (Source: The Nature Conservancy of Canada)
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A large section of wetlands east of Winnipeg is set to be protected by The Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The 193 acres of land is about an hour east of Winnipeg in Ste. Rita, located next to the Agassiz Provincial Forest. It was donated to the conservancy, with funding from the Richardson Foundation.

Tim Teetaert, the natural area manager with the conservancy, said the land has a mosaic of habitat types, including forested and non-forested peatlands, mineral wetlands, and a part of Hazel Creek which makes its way into Lake Winnipeg.

"We're really excited about the property because peatlands are a distinctive wetland type characterized by the accumulation of partially decayed organic matter, which is peat," said Teetaert, adding it can take 1,000 years to accumulate one metre of peat.

"Peat lands play an important role in carbon storage. They actually store more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the earth."

He said the conservancy will be taking a closer look at the land in the summer to give an extensive look at what is all on the property.

He said this is an important step in land conservation.

"In Manitoba, wetlands cover about 40 per cent of our landmass," he said. "Wetlands essentially are like a Swiss Army Knife in that they do almost everything, they play an important role in being a natural law water filter."

This comes during World Wetlands Day on Feb. 2.

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