top of page

press to zoom

press to zoom

Dr. Fredrick van Nus Preserve - History

Est. 2011



Estimated Time


80 Acres

The 80 acre Frederick van Nus Preserve is located at the Carp River headwaters. Habitat varies from hardwood forest with boulder erratics to beaver ponds and meadows. Voyageur Trail volunteers and area expert naturalists have been assisting LSWC in the development of an interpretive trail through the Preserve.

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.

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 for the purpose of conserving it in its natural state to provide a sanctuary for the wildlife and plant life found there.  The forest and wetland habitat provide refuge for moose, beaver, bear and many resident and migrant bird species such as pileated woodpeckers and songbirds. 

Dr. van Nus believed in reclamation of lands for conservation. Near Vancouver, Washington, he worked tirelessly to recuperate another property which become a tree farm and sanctuary for cougars and elk. His love of nature created an 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.

His membership in professional, service and social organizations were numerous. Lions International awarded him the Melvin Jones Fellow award for dedicated humanitarian services. He was active in many environmental, optometric, art and culture organizations.

Dr. van Nus’s daughter told LSWC that “his family feels it is a great honour and privilege to have the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy continue to carry out Dr. van Nus's wishes to protect this natural habitat in the same manner that he would have done.  We hope the general public will appreciate this beautiful piece of property for years to come.

bottom of page