Region North America
Corridor Protection and Research
The Kenauk Institute is a non-profit organization on the property of Kenauk, Quebec — one of North America’s largest private nature reserves in North America. Its mission is to support, coordinate, and supervise scientific research by working with schools and local communities. The goal of the organization is to establish a baseline inventory of biodiversity and monitor the property with a 100-year time horizon.
Located between Montreal and Gatineau, and easily accessible by highway, Kenauk falls within an ecological corridor linking Plaisance and Mont-Tremblant provincial parks. The area’s old-growth forests and wetlands house exceptional biodiversity, including rare and at-risk plant and animal species, such as black maple, which is designated as a vulnerable plant species under the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species, and eastern wood-pewee, designated as a species of special concern under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). Kenauk’s Lake Papineau is the source of the Salmon River (Kinonge River), whose pure water provides essential habitat for various fish species and maintains water quality for communities downstream. Unfortunately, it is particularly vulnerable to development.
How Age of Union Is Helping
With support from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the Kenauk Institute, Age of Union is working to create Quebec’s largest open-air lab, devoted to studying the impacts of climate change. Significant land donations have already laid the groundwork for the lab which covers more than 25,000 hectares of conserved land. With a donation of USD $3 million over three years, as well as contributions from other partners such as Inovia Capital, Age of Union is helping Kenauk grow its research and education programs on the Kenauk Institute-protected territory and contributing to the long-term preservation of the land. The goal is to ensure this incredible property is not only protected for the long term but also dedicated to natural sciences and educating future generations. By partnering with universities and public stakeholders, partners are aiming to create the largest temperate research forest in the world.
This partnership includes:
- Contributing to the creation of the Research and Education Pavillon
- Protecting the corridor
- Fostering research and partnerships
Last December, the families of Doug Harpur, Dominic Monaco, Patrick Pichette, and Mike Wilson — co-founders of KI — donated 645 hectares, half of their lakeside properties to NCC. They have pledged to donate more land once funds are raised to create the open-air lab and to protect this territory in perpetuity. The donation of 645 hectares was completed as part of NCC’s Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels, for which the Government of Quebec provided financial assistance, and by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund.