When Saskatchewan man Marc Spooner got a $285 government insurance rebate in the mail, he wondered if he could convince a few dozen people to pool their small windfalls and funnel the cash into a bigger group project.
He ended up raising more than $100,000 through more than 400 donations to his group Field of Dreams, which used the money to help purchase 600 hectares, or 6 square kilometres, of grasslands at Lonetree Lake, an hour and 45 minutes north of Regina.
“I think I just hit a nerve where people were like, ‘Yes, let’s do it. We can … collectively do something that would leave a lasting legacy,'” said Spooner, a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina.
Canada’s grasslands are an important habitat for wildlife and perform an important role in sequestering carbon, but much of the ecosystem has been lost to agriculture and development over the last…