At six years old, William McDermott is the youngest person to
donate to the Islands Trust Fund. William and his family live on
Salt Spring Island. His favourite spot on the island is the beach
on Price Road, where he spends hours trekking, collecting shells
and rocks, and investigating all the wonderful wildlife on the
beach and in the tides. A close second to the Price Road beach is
the fairy walk on the Mt. Erskine - a place he calls "magical".
He's protective of the natural world - picking up trash from the
beach and watching out for "critters". He's been known to
rescue a crab or two.
Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods identifies strong
correlations between children's experience in the natural world and
their ability to learn and develop physically and emotionally.
Across Canada, many children do not have access to natural areas
where they can play and explore, while incidences of learning
disabilities and physical diseases continue to rise. Here on the
islands, however, communities have worked to protect the natural
areas where William and other island children play. Now, with his
donation to conservation, William is continuing that island
tradition of investing in the future.
William's gift came in the form of nickels, dimes and quarters -
a portion of his allowance he hopes will save habitat. To be
realistic, William is probably not thinking about the long-term
significance of his gift, but we hope his donation, along with the
contributions of other like-minded individuals, will ensure that
all of our islands' six-year olds continue to find magic in the
To help William invest in the future, please donate to the
Islands Trust Fund and help us protect beaches and forests for the
children of tomorrow.