Introducing rare!

Introducing rare!

Get to know the community-driven urban land trust, nature reserve and environmental institute larger than New York's Central Park.

The rare Charitable Research Reserve is a 900+ acre urban land trust and environmental institute in Waterloo Region/Wellington. Since inception, rare has taken care of the land on behalf of the community through the use of Western tools within conservation, research and education. As rare becomes more meaningfully engaged in reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island, these pillars are becoming more flexible to equally include and value Indigenous ways of knowing and being — to become three strands of a strong braid.

Our goal at rare is to offer the community, local Indigenous Peoples, the international community and future generations a diverse network of connected natural areas, protected intact in perpetuity.

So what’s happening at rare?


osprey, nest, trail, conservation

Osprey building their nest along the Osprey Tower Trail.

Adam Gray

We steward 24 different habitats with more than 3,700 species that call rare home. The species diversity of rare is significant for one-third of the plants of Waterloo Region are found here together with 70% of the birds, 60% of the amphibians and reptiles and 50% of the mammals. You can experience the biodiversity at rare by enjoying over 8 km of trails and community gardens!


turtle, research, hatch, conservation

Painted Turtles hatching at rare.

Alissa Fraser

rare strives to further science and equally values and supports Indigenous ways of knowing and being. We conduct in-house environmental monitoring programs while partnering with other institutions, Indigenous knowledge keepers and citizen scientists. Read more about our research efforts on our blog.


kids, garden, sustainability, education

Kids taking part in Summer ECO Camp 2017.

Emily Leslie

The education department at rare provides equal space for research and Indigenous knowledge in the experience of the natural landscapes at rare. This is the basis of our unique method of conservation, called the rare Chain of Learning — building knowledge and a sense of wonderment in everyone involved, from the most senior teachers to the youngest students. Our school-based and youth environmental education program, Every Child Outdoors (ECO) trains the next generation of conservationists that will be good stewards of the land by providing children and youth with the tools and the desire to become the environmental leaders of tomorrow.

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Healthy Waterloo Region and can’t wait to share more about rare with you!

Check out our website to learn more about rare.