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2008-04-01 issue:

Loewens donate nature preserve to CMU

by Canadian Mennonite University

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WINNIPEG—Walter and Elly Loewen 25 years ago purchased property at East Braintree, Man., about 100 kilometers east of Winnipeg. It is a 700-acre nature preserve of forest, fields and peat bogs, bisected by the Boggy River.

At a March 12 ceremony, the Loewens formally signed use of the property over to Canadian Mennonite University to create the Braintree Creation Care Centre of CMU.

Besides the land, much of which is protected by a Nature Conservancy agreement that will keep it in its pristine condition, the property contains a two-story lodge, three rustic cabins and a modern bungalow, along with other assorted buildings.

With the property, the Loewens, who are members of East Braintree Community Church, are donating $250,000 over five years for operations.

Loewen, founder and former President of Yamaha Canada Music Ltd., said he hopes the donation will “inspire students and others to commit themselves to the furtherance of the Lord’s work by learning how to look after his creation.”

CMU president Gerald Gerbrandt said the Creation Care Centre will also do research about the environment and care of creation and serve as a retreat and teaching center.

Glen Klassen, who teaches biology at CMU, will serve as director of research for the center, oversee the transition of ownership of the property from the Loewens to CMU and work on refining and developing the vision and program for the center. —CMU

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