More woods and wetlands will be preserved in Gore.

On January 31, Conservation Lakefield announced it had just completed a major acquisition to preserve 117 hectares (289 acres) of natural area in the township. The two areas purchased are characterized by rich forests and exceptional wetlands. The properties had been on the market for development, but now these lands will instead be kept in their natural state perpetually.

Conservation Lakefield is a registered charity, recognized by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. Its mission is to preserve, protect and conserve in perpetuity the natural environments, ecosystems and landscapes of great ecological value in Gore, Mille-Îles and Wentworth.

The newly acquired lands are the largest protected area in Gore, and one of the largest areas ever protected in the Municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) d’Argenteuil.

This conservation project has been made possible with funding from the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), part of the Canada Nature Fund, and financial support from the Partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) from the Government of Québec, the Echo Foundation and the immense generosity of many local citizens.

“We are so proud of our volunteers who worked tirelessly to protect this magnificent property from the serious threat of development. We could not have completed this project without the support of the Municipality of Gore, the expertise of biologist Mathieu Madison, the collaboration of the Domaine Lakefield homeowners association (SPDL) and the dedication of those who supported our fundraising campaign,” said Conservation Lakefield President and founding member Patrick Demars.

He thanked parties involved with the lands for agreeing to withdraw the properties from the real estate market while Conservation Lakefield raised the funds needed to proceed with this transaction.

“All of the old forests and other forest stands, marshes, swamps, peat bogs and the Rivière de l’Est provide a mosaic of habitats for flora and fauna, including certain species at risk,” Conservation Lakefield Vice President and founding member Louise Caouette-Laberge said.

The Township of Gore is proud to support its citizens in their efforts to protect the environment and ecosystems of our region. Our community supports initiatives to safeguard Gore’s natural attractions,” said Mayor Scott Pearce.

Argenteuil Member of the Québec National Assembly Agnès Grondin, who also serves as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks welcomed the announcement as an example of a citizen-led conservation effort.

“It is with great respect that I recognize the diligent work of the dedicated volunteers of Conservation Lakefield and the representatives of the Municipality of the Township of Gore for this extraordinary ecological project: a project that contributes to preserving the health and quality of the environment in Argenteuil. Let’s hope that this project sets an example!” Grondin said.

Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbault said the Conservation Lakefield lands in Gore will help achieve the goal of conserving 25 per cent of Canada’s land and water by 2025, and 30 per cent by 2030.