Gatineau Park (Photo by NCC)

Gatineau Park (Photo by NCC)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada expands area devoted to nature

June 7, 2022
Lac des Loups, QC


Gatineau Park is now bordered by 25 protected hectares

For many years, Matthew Sanger and Mary O’Neill took care of their 25-hectare property. Wanting to protect the forest here for the long term, they recently handed over the reins to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).

NCC is proud to protect this piece of land, the equivalent of 158 NHL-sized skating rinks, which is adjacent to another conservation area. This proximity can only be beneficial. Located north of “the Ottawa Valley’s green lung” (as Gatineau Park is nicknamed), the new acquisition comprises mainly forests but also some wetlands and will help protect the habitat of numerous amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds.

This project showcases how NCC is accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, NCC has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares (almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island), coast to coast to coast. Over the next few years, the organization will double its impact by mobilizing Canadians and delivering permanent, large-scale conservation.

In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. When nature thrives, we all thrive.


NCC thanks Matthew Sanger and Mary O’Neill for offering their land for conservation. This project was completed thanks to financial assistance provided by Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques through the Partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) project, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


“The main advantage of this project is that it expands a protected area. The former owners contacted the people in charge of Gatineau Park to offer them their land and were referred to NCC. We protect private land in Quebec of high ecological value, such as this property. We’re grateful for the trust put in us by the population and our partners.” – Francisco Retamal Diaz, Project Coordinator at the Nature Conservancy of Canada

"We are delighted to contribute in this small way to expanding the wildlife corridor running through this part of West Quebec and further protecting the boundaries of Gatineau Park. Watching the flora and fauna change with the seasons gave us great pleasure these last few years. We hope future generations will also know the value of this wilderness.” – Matthew Sanger, previous owner

“We’re lucky in Quebec to have so many private property owners who want to make sure their land is protected. When these owners turn to conservation organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada to make their projects a reality, all Quebecers benefit. I’m proud to see that this acquisition was made possible by the financial assistance granted by the Government of Quebec to NCC as part of the Partenariat pour les milieux naturels project. Thank you for all the work you’ve done to protect Quebec’s land!” – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region


  • This new acquisition north of Gatineau Park will expand this conservation area by 36,000 hectares.
  • Blanding’s turtles, a threatened species, have been identified fwere than 1.5 kilometres from the area.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. In Quebec, close to 50,000 hectares have been protected. With nature, we build a thriving world. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

The Partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) project is a grant of more than $53 million over four years, awarded to NCC by the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. By establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province, the project seeks to support voluntary conservation initiatives in order to ensure the protection of natural environments of interest. The PPMN aims to develop and consolidate Quebec’s network of protected areas located on private land. It is a continuation of the Ensemble pour la nature project, which ended on March 31, 2020, and which had similar objectives.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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Media Contact:

Audrey Martel
Communications & marketing assistant (B.Sc. Biology)
Nature Conservancy of Canada
877-876-5444 x6222

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Funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada