Kenneth Irving has donated 20-hectare estate, worth an estimated $2 million, to a New Brunswick environmental organization that will transform it into a retreat for environmental science and the arts.

The sprawling estate is not far from Saint John and is located along the Kennebecasis River.

It was owned by Kenneth Irving, a grandson of the great industrialist K.C. Irving and former chief executive officer of Irving Oil Ltd. Irving left the family’s oil company in the summer of 2010.

Anne Koval, an art historian currently on sabbatical from her job at Mount Allison University, will spend the next six months to help start the property’s transformation.

When the retreat is established, it will become a gathering place for artists, musicians, scientists and environmental advocates.