New site to welcome public at the upper marshes of Île aux Grues
Locals and visitors to Quebec City and surroundings looking for places to visit can discover this hidden gem
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced the official opening of two viewing platforms and trails at the upper marshes of Île aux Grues, the largest ecological site of its kind in the St. Lawrence River. The non-profit organization is offering the thousands of people who visit its Jean-Paul-Riopelle Nature Reserve every year yet another reason to set foot on the island, where it protects 170 hectares (420 acres).
Recognized as a high biodiversity site in Quebec, the upper marshes are used by more than 200 bird species for nesting or as a migratory stop. It is also a reproduction site for four at-risk species, including yellow rail and short-eared owl.
By developing the site with informative panels, trails and facilities maintenance, NCC hopes to connect Quebecers to nature. Guests can explore this fragile environment while ensuring it remains undisturbed by keeping to the designated visiting areas. In addition to on-site infrastructure, nature lovers can discover the rich ecosystems found on the island through four short topical videos:
- Country Birds at Risk,
- Agriculture Then and Now,
- Shores of the St. Lawrence River, and
- How You Can Explore the Upper Marshes.
This project was made possible thanks to financial contributions from several partners:
- Fondation de la faune du Québec (FFQ) and its financial partner Hydro-Québec
- The Government of Quebec, through the Programme de soutien à la mise à niveau et à l’amélioration des sentiers et des sites de pratique d’activités de plein air of the ministère de l’Éducation, and through the financial support provided by the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels and to the Ensemble pour la nature project
- Fondation Riopelle-Vachon
- Caisse Desjardins de la MRC de Montmagny
- Pierre Lamothe, biologist and private donor
- Local partners who made the project possible, including MRC de Montmagny, the municipality of Saint-Antoine-de-l’Isle-aux-Grues, the Comité ZIP du Sud-de-l’Estuaire and Université Laval
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) 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 has helped to protect 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, including 48,000 hectares (approximately 118,600 acres) in Quebec.
The mission of the Fondation de la faune du Québec is to promote the conservation and enhancement of wildlife and its habitats. Thanks to the contribution of more than one million hunters, fishermen and trappers in Quebec, thousands of donors, and numerous private companies, the Foundation has supported more than 2,000 organizations throughout Quebec since 1987.
The Programme Hydro-Québec pour la mise en valeur des milieux naturels is a funding program offered by the Fondation de la faune du Québec in collaboration with its financial partner Hydro-Québec. It aims to support initiatives for the enhancement, development and implementation of infrastructures that facilitate public access to natural environments while ensuring the protection of biodiversity.
The Programme de soutien à la mise à niveau et à l’amélioration des sentiers et des sites de pratique d’activités de plein air (PSSPA) of the ministère de l’Éducation aims to encourage the public to adopt a physically active lifestyle and practice outdoor activity using functional and safe facilities. With a budget of over $10 million, a third call for projects launched in September 2020 funded 150 projects, which will result in more accessible, safe, and quality facilities. Projects under the PSSPA showcase the richness of Quebec's territory and allow outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy it safely. Within the framework of this program, a maximum financial aid equivalent to $26,803.21 was granted for the realization of the development of the aboiteau trail in the upper marshes of Île aux Grues.
The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to NCC. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Quebec's network of protected areas on private land. It follows the Ensemble pour la nature project, which ended on March 31, 2020, and had similar objectives.
The Ensemble pour la nature (PEPN) project is a $15 million grant awarded to NCC from 2017 to 2020 by the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. Until March 31, 2020, it aimed to establish financial partnerships and acquire scientific knowledge to ensure the conservation and protection of natural environments on private land in Quebec. This project has fostered interest in the protection of natural habitats and encouraged the Quebec community to take action to preserve the environment, allowing to develop and consolidate the network of protected areas located on private land in Quebec.
The mandate of Fondation Riopelle-Vachon is to contribute to the protection of ecosystems and biological diversity in natural environments, to fund educational projects on the environment of Île aux Grues intended for the public and to award scholarships aimed at encouraging students from Île aux Grues to pursue post-secondary studies.
The Caisse Desjardins de la MRC de Montmagny is a financial cooperative rooted in its community, where each of its 24,435 members is also a co-owner. True to its values, the mission of the Caisse Desjardins de la MRC de Montmagny is to contribute to the economic and social well-being of individuals and communities. The financial assistance provided to the community is an extension of the Caisse's cooperative nature. In 2020, $265,173 were given back to the community thanks to the Fonds d’aide au développement du milieu for projects that add significant value to people and their living environments.
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