Oak Lake local honoured for land donation for wildlife

Grassland property will serve as permanent wildlife habitat

Peter Galawan (far left), poses with family members and MHHC staff pose with a cairn honouring Galawan for his donation. Left to right: Peter Galawan, Debbie McDowell (niece of Peter), Carol Graham (MHHC habitat conservation specialist), Ernest DeLaRonde (nephew of Peter), Gary Galawan (nephew of Peter) and Curtis Hullick (MHHC field manager).

Oak Lake local Peter Galawan was honoured for his donation of property to the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation on September 20.

In 2017, Galawan donated a quarter section of land in the grassland flats of the Arrow Hills, according to a news release from MHHC. It contains Bailey’s Creek, a tributary of the Assiniboine River.

Grassland habitats are one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet, MHHC said. They provide important habitat for grassland birds, including species at risk, such as Sprague’s pipit.

Roy Bullion, a habitat conservation specialist with MHHC, said Galawan tossed around the idea of donating the land for many years.

Galawan wanted to “return something for wildlife,” Bullion said.

After a neighbour of Galawan’s got involved in a grazing strategy with MHHC, his land flourished. Bullion said Galawan was “taken” with this, and asked MHHC if it would manage his land in the same way.

MHHC said it will use grazing to manage the land and keep it in its grassland state.

About the author


Geralyn Wichers

Geralyn Wichers grew up on a hobby farm near Anola, Manitoba, where her family raised cattle, pigs and chickens. Geralyn graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in 2019 and was previously a reporter for The Carillon in Steinbach. Geralyn is also a published author of science fiction and fantasy novels.



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