Private Steward Jeanne Maki

Jeanne Maki under a beautiful beech tree on her property.

Jeanne Maki is one of the private land stewards that has taken the safekeeping of PEI’s natural areas into her own hands. Jeanne protected two forested properties in 2019 under the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act, the 40.5-acre Page and Maki Natural Area in Lewes and the 50-acre Jeanne Maki Natural Area in Iona. Jeanne has been a fixture in the conservation community for many years and was the 2020 recipient of the Hon. J. Angus MacLean Natural Areas Award for her significant work in increasing and improving natural areas in PEI. Here are a few thoughtful words from Jeanne about her choice to protect her land:

What motivated you to conserve your land?

The reason I bought it in the first place was to conserve it. Too much clearcutting has been taking place for decades and we’re losing important seed sources and habitat.

Why did you choose to protect your land using the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act?

Because it’s the only way I can feel assured that no one in the future will clearcut it or harm it in other ways. It’s important for future generations, for Climate Change mitigation, and for biodiversity.

There are many species of trees, plants, birds and other species. It has a lovely river and is surrounded by many acres of woodland owned by others who want to conserve their land, as well. This is important for wildlife to have a large tract of uninterrupted forest.

What would you say to other landowners interested in conserving their land?

I would say it’s a gift that keeps on giving. You will still be able to use the land (with some restrictions) and sell it, but it won’t be able to be abused.

Anyone who has experienced the natural beauty of Prince Edward Island can verify there is something incredibly special about its landscape and the wildlife who call it home. From the scenic coastal ecosystems, to the vibrantly biodiverse wetlands and all the stunning upland forests in-between, every natural area in PEI has immense ecological and cultural value. Many Islanders appreciate those values and choose to protect and conserve their land for many years to come. Under the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act, which protects their land in perpetuity, private landowners are securing a prosperous future for the land they hold near and dear to their hearts. 

As Prince Edward Island continues to experience an unprecedented development boom, the value of privately protected natural areas has never been greater. PEI is 87% privately owned, meaning the efforts of private land stewards to protect and maintain this island’s fragile ecosystems makes a HUGE difference. We are so grateful to our many allies in conservation who have committed to the protection of their own lands! 

So far, over 40 private landowners from Tignish to Murray River have implemented the PEI Natural Areas Protection Act to shield 1,513 acres across this beautiful island! To recognize the efforts of these land stewards across the island, Island Nature Trust has launched the Private Stewards Support Program – with funding provided by the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, PEI Forests and Fish and Wildlife Division’s Forested Landscape Priority Place program – that aims to aid and engage private stewards with protecting their lands.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can preserve your land or the Private Stewards Support Program, please contact us by email at or by phone at (902) 892-7513.