The Venise-Ouest peatland is in good hands
This summer, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) invited the public to a hands-on activity on its protected property in the Venise-Ouest peatland, near Lake Champlain in the Montérégie region. On a beautiful sunny day, NCC volunteers and employees took action to help restore and maintain an ecosystem that is becoming increasingly rare in Quebec: the mature silver maple grove.
In 2015, NCC announced the expansion of the protected area of the Venise-Ouest peatland by acquiring a 390-acre (158-hectare) property thanks to, among other things, a $182,000 contribution from the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement (FHQE). In total, 939 acres (380 hectares) of wetlands and woodlands are now preserved, representing more than two-thirds of the peatland.
Since then, NCC has been working to raise awareness in the community of the importance of this wetland, which provides great services to the population. By acting as a sponge, the peat bog filters and improves water quality in the Richelieu River and Lake Champlain watershed in addition to reducing flooding. During snowmelt, the peat bog absorbs excess water and then allows it to flow out slowly.
Thanks to the support of FHQE and the municipalities of Venise-en-Québec and Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville, an educational brochure is now available to visitors. A short video, available online, also provides an opportunity to learn more about this protected natural environment.
NCC continues to work with the municipality of Venise-en-Québec to ensure that everyone can enjoy this enchanting environment through a safe and environmentally friendly walking trail. The welcome signs installed near the Route 202 parking lot in Venise-en-Québec now allow hikers to visualize the trail's route. In addition, using interpretive panels along the trail, they learn about the ecological role of the peat bog and the species found there.
NCC would like to express it heartfelt thanks to the FHQE, the municipalities of Venise-en-Québec and Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville, the Ensemble pour la nature project of the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques of Québec, whose contributions have helped to enhance the protected area. We also thank the volunteers who collaborated to protect this exceptional site during an activity carried out thanks to the Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is Canada’s leading not-for-profit private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) coast to coast, including 111,197 acres (45,000 hectares) in Quebec. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
The Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement supports organizations carrying out tangible initiatives designed to protect, restore and enhance natural habitats, and to educate target audiences about local environmental issues. Between 2001 and 2017, the Fondation awarded $14.8 million to 272 projects implemented throughout Quebec’s administrative regions. The total value of these projects is estimated at $48 million. To find out more about the various projects funded by the Fondation, visit www.hydroquebec.com/fondation-environnement.
The Government of Canada's Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manages the program. Federal funds are matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP enhances natural corridors and other protected areas.
The Ensemble pour la nature project (PEPN) is a three-year, $15 million grant to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) from Quebec's Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC). It aims to establish financial partnerships and acquire scientific knowledge to ensure the conservation and protection of natural environments on private lands in Quebec between now and March 31, 2020. It thus promotes solidarity with respect to protected areas by involving Quebec communities in conservation actions.
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