Winnipeg, MB – Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Kenneth Reddig as Director of its Braintree Creation Care Centre in southeast Manitoba.
The Braintree Creation Care Centre was given as gift to CMU from Walter and Eleanor Loewen on March 12, 2008. The purpose of the Loewen gift was to protect this remarkably diverse wildlands area, which the Loewens so deeply cherish, while also serving as a Christian centre of learning and reflection around creation care and protection of the environment.
“We are so very grateful to the Loewens for this wonderful gift. In managing this unique property that they have given to CMU, Ken brings significant project management experience and a capacity to develop the exciting future envisioned for BCCC. We envision a broad range of programming under his directorship that will enable the CMU community and our various supporting constituencies to engage with the Braintree project in many different ways,” says Earl Davey, CMU Vice President Academic.
“Our aim is to connect with CMU students, our faculty, and our church constituencies. We want people to develop an awareness of how they can help take care of creation and the environment in which they live,” says Reddig, whose initial program planning includes mapping the region and creating opportunities for the public to access select areas of the property. “We also plan to reach out to the public school system, in addition to church and bible study groups. Our hope is that people will feel free to visit, to come to the lodge for a short stay, to learn about this specific environment, to be spiritually refreshed, and to take what they learn, as well as a perspective for looking at the world, back to their own environments, be that city, town, or farm.”
The CMU Braintree Creation Care Centre features over 800 acres of significantly diverse forests and bogs of various kinds, including a pristine cedar bog. “This is a very unique place,” says Reddig. “Due to its remote location, it has not seen a lot of human activity on portions of the property.”
The Centre, situated in southeast Manitoba, is within a region of mixed forestlands with Northwest Angle Provincial Forest, Sandilands Provincial Forest, andWhiteshell Provincial Park surrounding its boundaries. In addition, two rivers – the Birch and the Boggy Rivers – and several smaller creeks flow through this transition property straddling both prairie and Canadian Shield landscapes.
“You can’t help but love the property for its pristine forest with tall, tall pine trees, its great variety of soil and plant life, and its abundance of animal and bird life. This Centre,” Reddig adds, “is right under the major flyways for a great number of North American songbirds and other birds as well. The flyway is quite incredible, and it’s part of the uniqueness of this extraordinary place.” Reddig notes as well that the Creation Care Centre has nine different species of wild orchids on the property.
In addition to having a new Director, building on the work of former Director Harv Sawatsky, Braintree Creation Care Centre recently achieved classification as a heritage site by Nature Conservancy Canada.
Under an agreement reached in November 2009 between CMU and Nature Conservancy, the site is protected in perpetuity as a heritage environment area under the protection and land use policies of the Nature Conservancy organization.
“The Centre is CMU’s land under our stewardship, but now with the additional protection of Nature Conservancy. Through this arrangement, we benefit from their expertise and we agree to abide by the Nature Conservancy’s guidelines and rules governing the use of such heritage sites,” says Reddig.
In addition to his lifelong work as a self-described student of nature, Reddig obtained his Master of Arts degree in Canadian History from the University ofManitoba and a Master of Divinity from AMBS, Elkhart, Indiana. Besides his half-time employment with BCCC, Ken also serves as the Director, also half-time, of Eden Foundation. Previously, he has worked as Executive Director of Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba, Director of the Mennonite Heritage Centre (Winnipeg), Director of the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, and Major & Planned Gifts Coordinator for the St. Boniface Hospital and Research Foundation.
“I’ve had a lifelong interest in the environment, and my wife Willa and my children and grandchildren share that passion,” says Reddig, who lives in Pinawa where he and his family enjoy hiking, canoeing, skiing, and camping. “What I’m particularly excited about in my new position as Director of Braintree Creation Care Centre is that this is a great opportunity to enhance the educational journey of faculty and staff at CMU and of the broader community.”
“Education, reflection, and protection – those are our inter-generational goals,” says Reddig.
“Braintree Creation Care Centre is really an incredible place, and I’m very pleased to help guide this process as we develop and share and protect this heritage site and wonderful gift from the Loewens.”
Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university in the anabaptist tradition, offering undergraduate degrees in arts and science, business and organizational administration, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music and music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian ministry. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CMU has over 1,800 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through its Outtatown discipleship program.