Kenauk Nature


  • Number of Completed Projects (2013-2014)
  • 15
  • Acres Conserved
  • 10,418
  • Land Value
  • $6,346,640
  • Stewardship Volunteers
  • 185

Perspectives on a natural historic treasure

Granted as a seigniorial domain in 1674 by Louis XIV, King of France, to Monseigneur Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, the Kenauk property is deeply rooted in Canadian history.

From 1801, and for the century that followed, it was owned by the Papineau family, notably by Louis-Joseph, one of Quebec’s great 19th-century political figures.

And now, this historic property has become NCC’s largest acquisition in Quebec to date.

Located between Ottawa and Montreal, the property is densely forested and contains more than 70 lakes. NCC has acquired 10,020 acres (4,055 hectares) with the objective of conserving even more land within the property, which spreads over more than 64,245 acres (26,000 hectares). A four-year purchase option was signed to acquire full ownership of 4,448 acres (1,800 hectares) and a conservation agreement on an additional 32,124 acres (13,000 hectares).

NCC and Kenauk Nature are working together to conserve this vast property. This partnership will promote outdoor activities and exploration, while documenting the area’s natural wealth and ensuring the conserved lands are protected in perpetuity.

In addition to the largest known black maple forest stand in Quebec and the presence of four-toed salamanders (a provincial species at risk), many more valuable features on the property have yet to be discovered.

Tony Campbell

A beachside haven for wildlife

The piping plover is an endangered shorebird that relies on sand and pebble beaches for nesting.

Now this bird has a few more safe places to roost in the Magdalen Islands on the Havre-Aubert Island. This year, we protected 104 acres (42 hectares) here consisting of furrows, dunes and exceptional wetlands in the Havre-aux-Basques sector.

The property also boasts a number of rare species such as Magdalen islands juniper, red knot and short-eared owl.

We’ve collaborated with the local municipality to protect these fragile beachside habitats — also home to nesting Nelson’s sparrows and rusty blackbirds.


By injecting a salt-water solution into the soil, we were able to flush a nasty invader — Japanese knotweed — from one of our properties in Quebec last year. And we’ve inspired some local landowners to do the same!


Even the smallest places make a difference

NCC recently added another island sanctuary to our growing collection: Pointe d’Argentenay.

Located 40 kilometres east of Quebec City, this 35-acre (15-hectare) property, bounded by a freshwater estuary, forms the easternmost point of Île d’Orléans.

Six plant species, including Victorin’s gentian and Victorin’s water hemlock, are endemic to the estuary, making it a globally significant conservation area. Along the intertidal zone of the estuary, waterfowl flock to feed in its rich waters. The area is also an important stopover for many migratory species, especially snow geese.

Since the 1940s, Pointe d’Argentenay was owned by two families, the Guimonts and Lafrances, who recognized the ecological richness of the land as well as its beauty. In order to maintain the value of the site, they conserved its natural values in the same way as when they first acquired it.