Natural Capital

PEI's Natural Capital


Nature Space Resort & Retreat Centre is the Natural Capital of Prince Edward Island

Our small boutique family-run resort is nestled quietly on 16 acres of land directly on an ocean lagoon. This area boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems on the Island, and is identified as an IBA (Important Bird Area) by Nature Canada due to the diverse bird life found in the area. It is an area of historical significance with many important indigenous settlements and later was a key area for Acadian and British settlements when the Province was bustled with shipbuilding and fishing. Our goal is to create spaces & experiences to allow our guests to immerse in nature and connect to the history and the flora and fauna on this land.

We have a variety of activities and experiences that help you explore nature and the natural world. On our kayak tours you can explore the natural life and history of the lagoon with the unique ability to explore the diversity of flora and fauna while paddling through fresh, brackish and full salt water! You can also paddle with our guide and yoga instructor to a secluded beach for a private beach yoga session! We offer a couple of guided walks focused on forest bathing and as well as adventuring through the woods at night and learning about how our bodies adapt and what animals are out and about.

The Water

The ocean lagoon, known as St. Peter’s Lake, is one of the main highlights of Nature Space Resort. There’s something special about being in and around the water, and this lake is pretty magical. This brackish lake is spring fed at the south end, and open to the ocean and the incredible white sand beaches at the north. Being a productive ocean lagoon, it is packed with life making it one of the best fishing locations on PEI for sea-run brook trout. 

The numerous fish also mean there is abundant bird life on the lake. We offer nature tours of the lagoon by kayak and standup paddle board (SUP). It is a birder’s paradise, and there are ample opportunities to see many species. More than 360 species of birds have been recorded on the Island, and our resort is home to many of these, including a resident pair of bald eagles and their babies. We also commonly see kingfishers, osprey, and great blue heron, plovers, sandpipers, ducks and seabirds in the warmer months, and blue jays, a variety of woodland and song birds as well as woodpeckers & sapsuckers in the winter.

A large dock with a bench allows guests to get on the water without getting wet, and it’s one of the best spots on the property to star gaze. It’s also an amazing place to watch the sunset and we have some of the most incredible sunsets here over the lagoon. 

The Land

Here, you can enjoy spectacular sunsets, magnificent starscapes, and can do a little forest bathing. There are so many areas to explore at the resort including the gardens and trails. This is a place for connection, healing, and creativity; a place to experience the natural world around you. 

You will find a beautiful creek running through the property, along with trails through the woods. The woods and the resort have been shaped by recent storms (Hurricane Dorian and Hurricane Fiona both left their marks) but the trail is still beautiful and the forest is still home to an abundance of animals, which you’ll see on the property including ground birds, snowshoe hare, squirrels, fox, raccoon, woodland birds and eagle’s, red-tailed hawks and osprey soaring overhead! We occasionally spot beaver, muskrat, and weasels (who all keep our resident chickens on their toes!). 

The main vegetable garden is located behind the Eagle’s Nest Loft. We grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including strawberries and raspberries, beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes, beets, rutabaga, squash, and greens.

For anyone who enjoys meditative walking, the Dragonfly Labyrinth is a feature not to be missed. Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice used by many different cultures for spiritual centering, contemplation, meditation, or prayer. Entering the serpentine path of a labyrinth, you walk slowly while focusing on your breath, a mantra, a spiritual question or a prayer. The labyrinth is not a maze. It has only one path to the central garden and back out. The path twists and turns back on itself before reaching the center. At the center, there is a small garden for contemplative practice including meditation, prayer or simple reflection. When you’re done enjoying the garden, walk the path back out to exit the labyrinth.

Nighttime is truly magical at Nature Space. Our star scape is awe inspiring, and we frequently can see the numerous constellations, the milky way and shooting starts. There are no large mammals on PEI anymore, so the forest is safe for exploring even at night, and we run a 5-senses night experience regularly to help encourage our guests to get into the woods after dark.

The Natural History

Our beautiful resort is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people. This land has a long history.

Now inhabited mostly by cottagers and summer residents, at one time, St. Peters Harbour was the Island’s busiest and most prosperous area. The 300-year-old town has Acadian roots dating back to 1719, when it was the very first French settlement on this shore. It grew into an important fishing and shipbuilding community in the mid- to late-19th century.  It was often considered the commercial capital of Isle St. Jean (PEI), and reported the largest population of inhabitants on PEI in the 1728 census.

Long before the area was settled by Europeans, this area was covered in forest- Spruce, Fir, Beech, White and Yellow Birch, Ash and Maple trees. The forests were inhabited by deer, bears, raccoons, foxes and wolves. All the waters were abundant in salmon, oysters, clams, quahogs, trout and lobsters.

The earliest inhabitants of the area were the indigenous people who have lived in the area for more than 8000 years. Proof of their existence was unearthed at Greenwich National Park, which is only 20 minutes from Nature Space. The artifacts that were found there, showed that the Greenwich Peninsula had been occupied by three different cultural areas of Indigenous People; The Paleo-Indian (8600-3500 B.C.), the Archaic or “Shellfish” People (3500-1000 B.C.) and the Algonquin tradition, of which the Mi’kmaq are descendants.

The Mi’kmaq people called St. Peters “Poogoosumkek Boktaba,” which, when translated, means “the place of clam digging” and called Prince Edward Island “Abegweit,” which means “cradled on the waves.”

The French occupation of the area began in the early 1700s and the French settlers and the Mi’kmaq people got along well and co-existed peacefully. The French families were attracted to the area for the same reason as the Mi’kmaq, because it offered a harbour and superior fishing grounds.  In 1758, when the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton, NS surrendered to the British Forces, Isle St. Jean was also surrendered. Most of the French population of Isle. St. Jean was subsequently deported.

After the French were deported, the British started to settle. While the Mi’kmaq people had a good relationship with the French, the same could not be said about their relationship with the British. The forests quickly disappeared along with the animals that lived in the areas, making it very difficult for the Mi’kmaq people to survive. Eventually only a few small settlements that were scattered around the area were all that was left of the indigenous population. 

The British in this area focused largely on shipbuilding. In St. Peter’s Bay alone, there were three shipyards.  If you wander down to the Harbour you can find the old pilings from the large shipbuilding wharf near the lighthouse. The original St. Peters Harbour Lighthouse was built in 1878 and evolved into a warning light in 1951 after the harbour was abandoned, and was decommissioned entirely in 2008. The lighthouse has been completely restored by the St. Peters Harbour Lighthouse Society. As founding members of the Lighthouse Society, we are proud to introduce the lighthouse to our guests, and Heather teaches yoga in front of this landmark during the summer months.

Despite the lighthouse, the North Shore of Prince Edward Island was once considered to be a graveyard for many large ships. In the summer of 2020 a wreck from ~200 years ago was unearthed at the top of the lake run (a short paddle from Nature Space Resort).

As fishing stocks declined and ship building became a thing of the past, this once bustling community became quieter. Home now to a large blueberry factory (Wyman’s), a sizeable mussel and oyster plant (Mussel King and Atlantic Shellfish), agriculture and fishing are the main industries, in addition to tourism, which we are proud to be a part of.