A family helps protect a hundred hectares in the Northern Green Mountains
Krieg property, QC (photo credit unkown)
In the Eastern Townships, where urbanization is rapidly expanding, individuals, families and community members are working together to conserve large expanses of wild natural areas; places whose rich biodiversity is just starting to be understood.
The Krieg family, who owns a spectacular wooded area in the region, has donated a portion of the value of their property to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
Commemorating 70 years of memories
The story begins in the 1950s, when August Krieg, who had arrived in Canada from Switzerland a few years earlier, purchased land on the southern slopes of the Sutton Mountains. He quickly felt at home in this mountainous landscape, which reminded him of his country of origin.
The Krieg property is a pastoral natural area full of life. Its mature forests are home to eastern wood-pewee, a small, threatened songbird. Several species of spring salamanders also live in the area’s streams.
Spring salamander (photo credit: NCC)
August quickly grew to love his land, which became a family farm. His wife, Linda, soon developed a wish to see it protected for the long term.
Linda’s vision for the property, which she first developed at a time where conservation was not often spoken about, seems prescient when looking back on it today. The couple’s five children, Régina, Rosemary, August-Henry, Linda and Sylvia, were introduced to the concept of conservation at an early age.
“Our mother’s vision was one that we couldn’t fully understand at the time,” explains August-Henry. “But we realized, over the years, that protecting this natural area for future generations was the best thing to do. Today, we thank her with all our hearts.”
The family farm, where the Krieg children grew up, is also close to their hearts. “Our parents lived on this farm for 70 years. We have memories of a happy childhood there, of family gatherings with children and grandchildren, and a of peaceful retreat for our parents, August and Linda,” say the Krieg siblings.
August and Linda Krieg (photo credit unknown)
The Krieg property was appreciated by a number of local residents. “My father wanted others to be able to enjoy this space,” remembers August-Henry.
“He was very generous,” adds Linda, August-Henry’s sister. “He never refused access to people who wanted to cross the property to reach the river.”
A natural and cultural jewel in the Eastern Townships
After August’s passing, his children, who wished to have this family haven become a place of memory, decided that it was time to ensure its protection.
Thanks to advice from the owners of Au Diable Vert, the nearby outdoor recreation centre, the Krieg siblings contacted NCC.
“Right from the start, we understood that it was a love story,” explains Cynthia Patry, project manager for the Northern Green Mountains at NCC. “By conserving places like this one, we are helping species that depend on them. But the Krieg property also encompasses another treasure; that of a long history of time spent in nature, emotions felt and discoveries made.”
Sutton Mountains, QC (photo credit: Don Dabbs)
Access to this property, which meant so much to August, will be prioritized in its conservation. The network of trails that criss-crosses NCC’s and Au Diable Vert’s properties offers opportunities for the public to enjoy all that nature has to offer. What is more, it will be developed further in the coming years.
What’s more, NCC hopes to connect the property to the Green Mountains Nature Reserve, a place of high biodiversity and a well-used outdoor recreation area in Quebec.
NCC wouldn’t have been able to complete this project without the support of Au Diable Vert. The outdoor recreation centre helped by purchasing a portion of the property, in addition to providing an opportunity for NCC to acquire this natural area.
NCC also thanks August and Linda Krieg’s family for their generosity. The conservation of this property was also made possible thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, under the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, through the Canada Nature Fund, the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques’ Ensemble pour la nature project, the Sweet Water Trust and CGI.
The not-for-profit Les Sentiers de l'Estrie is also a partner in this project.