B.C. residents embark on social media fundraising campaign to save treasured land from destruction

save mary lakeIn the District of Highlands, an area northwest of B.C.’s capital city, Victoria, a group of concerned residents has launched an ambitious social media fundraising campaign in a bid to protect a parcel of land from development and preserve it for generations.

The land at the heart of this initiative is Mary Lake, spanning more than 100 acres. It serves as a key wildlife corridor and acts a rare habitat for numerous endangered species.

“This is a truly rare opportunity to preserve one of very few intact coastal Douglas firecosystems on Vancouver Island. There is no other landscape in this country that encompasses the uniqueness of Mary Lake,” said Bob McMinn, a 57-year Highlands resident and head of the Mary Lake Conservancy.

$4.5 million must be raised—$1 million of it by January 2011. To achieve this, an online donation campaign has been created. (For $10, anyone can purchase a square meter of the property. You’ll also be recognized on the website.)

What’s interesting about this social media initiative is that it isn’t managed by “social media gurus” and youthful techtrepreneurs—rather, it’s largely comprised of elderly Highland residents who are relatively unfamiliar with today’s digital realm. But their passion for saving the home they’ve always known has caused them to explore all avenues.

“We’ve had more than 1,350 people from eight countries around the world, including the U.S.,A ustralia, Germany and United Kingdom, visit the Save Mary Lake website since our launchon Sunday,” said 86-year-old Bob.

“In my 86 years I’ve seen a lot, but nothing quite like the power ofsocial media.”

– Bob McMinn, Head of the Mary Lake Conservancy.

The  campaign is gaining momentum through the use of channels such as Facebook and Twitter. They also have a YouTube channel: