A lot of work must be done in order for Canada to meet its goal of protecting 25 per cent of its land by 2025.

That's from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, who says our country ended last year at just 13.5 per cent. Director of Conservation for the Manitoba Region, Cary Hamel, says he is optimistic the goal can still be reached, noting he's always amazed by individual acts of conservation by Manitobans.

"I think a lot of this goal that's being set nationally, is really about recognizing all different types of conservation and bringing everyone together into the conservation club," says Hamel. "I think we all share a vision for Canada's future, which includes a strong economy and healthy and happy people, but also those natural areas which we've come to really recognize as being so important through the pandemic."

He says this is not just a job for government and environmental charities, and individual landowners make great decisions all the time to conserve special areas on their farms. He adds, municipalities do a great job conserving areas inside towns and cities.

"The Portage la Prairie area, especially near Lake Manitoba, and the Woodlands area, has some of the most important Prairie and Parkland in the entire country," says Hamel. "It's actually the northernmost extent of the tallgrass prairie habitat that extends all the way down to Texas."

He says that habitat is a mix of wetlands, forest, and open grassland. Over the next year, the NCC will be partnering up with landowners, ranchers and various communities to map out a plan to conserve more land for future generations.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada celebrated National Environment Week from June 5th to the 11th.

Wetland landscape.