In 2011, the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy purchased a 32 hectare/ 80-acre hardwood forest at the headwaters of Big Carp Creek in Prince Township west of Sault Ste Marie.

The Dr. Fredrick van Nus Preserve abuts a Sault Ste Marie Regional Conservation Authority property, and, in 2017, the Saulteaux Voyageur Trail Association’s Walls Lake Loop trail will be expanded into the Preserve for hikers and snowshoers to enjoy the property year round.

The property belonged to Dr. Fredrick van Nus. Alongside his profession as an ophthalmologist, he was a humanitarian, naturalist, conservationist and environmentalist. When he passed away, his family in Alberta contacted LSWC about purchasing the land in memory of their father. Dr. Fredrick van Nus acquired this forestland over 50 years ago to conserve it in its natural state to provide sanctuary for the wildlife, and plant life found there. The forest and wetland habitat provide refuge for moose, beaver, bear and many residents and migrant bird species such as pileated woodpeckers and songbirds.

a beaver meadow on the preserve

Photo by Gary McGuffin, a beaver meadow on the Preserve.

Dr. van Nus believed in the reclamation of lands for conservation. Near Vancouver, Washington, he worked tirelessly to recuperate another property which becomes a tree farm and sanctuary for cougars and elk. His love of nature created excitement in those who had the privilege of working with him in his many conservation pursuits that included habitat protection for salmon, trees, bats, and other wildlife.

Dr. van Nus worked in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps for 28 years before retiring with five military service awards including the U.S. Military Bronze Star for bravery. He was a Professor of Optometry at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Here he established an optometric internship program of service to the Colville and Quinault Indian Reservations.

Sault College Parks students assisting LSWC with the trail route planning

Photo by Gary McGuffin, Sault College Parks students assisting LSWC with the trail route planning.