For the love of water: Kimberley and Marjolaine

BESIDE Habitat is intrinsically motivated by conservation: protecting 80% of all land acquired, and developing a maximum of 20% of its area. Achieving this objective would be impossible without the confidence and support of those who embark on this adventure with us, and become owners of a cabin. This is why we call our members “founders.” Here are the stories of two members of this community of shared values, who make it possible for this project to exist and continue to evolve.

Marjolaine and Kimberley live in Montréal with their four- and six-year-old daughters, Olivia and Mila. Their ongoing quest was to discover a place in nature to visit when it’s time to recharge. The family has lost count of the number of times they’ve piled in the car to roam the Laurentians and Lanaudière, searching for THE perfect spot for weekends of fresh spruce air, and summer vacations where your hair never fully dries.

As the trips multiplied, so did the nights spent browsing listings of land for sale. The BESIDE Habitat project kept catching their eyes.

At first glance, Habitat didn’t seem to tick their most important box: direct access to a lake. They’d both spent their lives in and around water: whether canoe-camping or in olympic-sized pools. The two mothers, who both work in education, are always eager for the sound of the year’s last bell, signaling a summer of splashing around.

Marjolaine and Kim quickly realized that the territory includes two lakes, which can be reached by a 30-minute walk.

In their research, they learned to question the environmental effects of building a cabin right next to a lake, and were disappointed to learn that development on the shores often harmed local biodiversity. Bearing this in mind, they recognized the value of the layout at BESIDE Habitat, where the bodies of water sit surrounded by trees, far from any evident construction.

“Seeing that the lakes were perfectly preserved immediately resonated with our values. The forest welcomes us, but does not belong to us, and that’s something that we’re trying to pass on to our children,” explains Marjolaine.

On a large rock, sunk into Lake Charlevoix, two adirondack chairs overlook the water. This is base camp. “We spend all our afternoons by the lake. The girls even learned to swim here. We tried fishing as well, but without much success,” laughs Kim.

The journey to get to the lake is part of the adventure. Along the way, they pick wild blueberries and blackberries. “It’s really touching to watch the girls come to know the territory, playing in the streams and inventing games. To see them marvel at nature. And to experience these precious moments all together,” says Marjolaine.

Their summers are now filled with water, forest, and, of course, fire. The young family jokingly describes themselves as pyromaniacs, and never miss an opportunity to build one. Because of her background as a canoe-camping guide, Marjolaine appreciates the time it takes to cook with embers. In the winter, before leaving on snowshoes, they like to start grilling vegetables in the stove, so that they can quietly cook while the family walks.

“At BESIDE Habitat, everything is slow. Even time itself slows down, as if to allow us to better appreciate the special moments that we’re spending together,” observes Kim.

Does this make you want to become the owner of a BESIDE cabin?

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