Buffalo Road Natural Area

The Buffalo Road Natural Area is a riparian forest and reforesting field in Anglo Rustico, Queens County, Prince Edward Island. The property contains several small wetlands and two tributaries of Chapel Creek. Due to a relatively high amount of nearby agriculture and development, this donation is an extremely significant addition to protected lands on PEI.

Natural Area Map

Acquisition and Legal Status

The Buffalo Road Natural Area was donated in January 2023 in loving memory of Geoffrey Willem Paynter by his life partner, Janet Marshall, daughter, Rilla Marshall and family of Belfast, PEI, and son, Logan Paynter and family of Sunnyvale, California. Geoffrey was born and grew up in Montreal, Quebec. He, Janet, Rilla and Logan moved from Newfoundland to PEI in 1985. Geoffrey worked at the Atlantic Veterinary College UPEI until he retired in January 2012. In 2011, Geoffrey and Janet bought a house on the Buffalo Road in Rustico, and subsequently purchased some of the farmland abutting their property in 2014.

Geoffrey Paynter at his Buffalo Road property (2013).

This donation was made possible due to the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gift Program. Under the terms of the Income Tax Act of Canada and the Quebec Taxation Act, it offers significant tax benefits to landowners who donate land or a partial interest in land to a qualified recipient. Recipients ensure that the land’s biodiversity and environmental heritage are conserved in perpetuity. LEARN MORE

Landscape Context

This Buffalo Road Natural Area is located between the town of Hunter River and the Green Gables Coastal Highway. This region of PEI is predominantly agriculture, housing, and tourism, with the greater watershed area being 73% agriculture, and 7% developed. The property was identified by INT as one of the last standing forests along Chapel Creek not set for harvest or clearing.

Ecological Description

During the spring of 2015-16, Geoff and Janet participated in a reforestation program offered by the PEI Department of Environment, Energy and Climate Action. Over the next two years, a mixed Acadian Forest of over 6000 tree seedlings were planted on the property. During the last several years of his life, Geoffrey became a dedicated tree planter. He delighted in starting trees from seeds, nurturing and planting them throughout the property. Planted trees include white spruce (Picea glauca), eastern larch (Larix laricina), red oak (Quercus rubra), red maple (Acer rubrum), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), red spruce (Picea rubens), white pine (Pinus strobus) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum).

Regenerating field, with six planted trees now six to seven years old.

This forest regeneration is significant because expanded riparian forest cover further moderates river temperature and sediment runoff from nearby farmland and lawns. The reforested portion slopes into a swale that further filters water entering Chapel Creek. The riparian forest and a small riparian alder swamp is habitat for a range of wildlife, including migratory songbirds and the federally-at-risk Canada warbler (Cardellina canadensis).

Access

The Buffalo Creek Natural Area has no official access and is closed to the public.

For more information on access to our natural areas, please contact our Land Stewardship Team.