Luana Boulanger (Photo by Maria Navarro)
Luana Boulanger: For the love of the land
On the land she has come to love deeply, Luana Boulanger reflects on the beauty of nature and its benefits, and meditates on its complex and delicate balance. By donating her property to a partner organization of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), she is ensuring a future for this place that inspires contemplation and learning. With the well-being of future generations at heart, Luana has also left a gift in her Will to NCC.
A retired journalist, Luana spends a lot of time on her property, which is in a natural area where the Lanaudière and Laurentian regions meet, north of Montreal.
Aerial view of Luana's land. Luana estimates she protected about 200 trees in the course of the years. (Photo by Luana Boulanger)
The property features many habitats, including a forest, wetlands and steep slopes. Covering more than 16 hectares (39 acres), it is home to several species, many of which Luana has seen up close over the years.
“The first time I saw a beaver eating plants in my garden, I thought I was seeing things," she says. "I was on my way back from a walk around the lake, and I saw him munching away on one of my favourite native plants: purple-stemmed angelica. He had to pass by me to escape. The poor, scared beaver ran right into my leg. We maintained a polite, but safe, relationship the rest of the summer.”
Luana's cabin (Photo by Luana Boulanger)
Her property also boasts black ash, listed as threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Many other tree species are found here, including Canada serviceberry and yellow birch. Luana is dedicated to preserving the health of these trees.
“The other day, I spent hours putting wiring around the trees to protect them from the beavers. They gnaw at the trunks, which kills the trees. It was cold that day so I fell ill,” she explains on the phone, her voice hoarse. And it seems her hard work is paying off, as the trees are doing much better.
Aristophanes' rock on Luana's land (Photo by Luana Boulanger)
Luana can rest assured that her property’s natural values will be protected for the long term. With the donation of her property to the Fiducie de conservation des écosystèmes de Lanaudière, she is ensuring the survival of the at-risk species that live here, including Canada warbler, which is listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act.
Situated in a large wildlife corridor that stretches from the U.S. to Mauricie, the property is also regionally important. The wildlife corridor, a conservation target for several organizations, allows for animals to travel and plants to disperse between natural areas as they adapt to a changing climate.
Monarch's caterpillar (Photo by Luana Boulanger)
But Luana’s generosity doesn’t stop there. She has also included a gift to NCC in her Will, to ensure even more natural areas are protected in the Laurentians. “We need nature,” she says. “These gifts give me peace of mind. Thank you for doing this important work! ”
Thank you, Luana, for your kind and thoughtful gifts.