Through ecological restoration we can restore our own connection to the natural world.
As the leaves fall from the trees one season ends as another begins. It is a busy time for those of us working in the forest collecting seeds to grow new trees in the spring -before the squirrels store those seeds for their winter!

You are receiving this e-newsletter because you have helped us in the past, attended a workshop or have requested news and updates from the Ignatius Old-Growth Forest Project.

We are so grateful to all those folks that have helped, shared, celebrated and learned with us. It certainly has been an exciting and productive year!

Martin Tamlyn, Project Manager 

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Project Update
Thanks to a major grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation* , the project was able to expand its Environmental Stewardship programming for local schools and workshops in community-based ecosystem restoration. This funding has allowed the project to: hire new staff, construct a beautiful education pavilion, build boardwalks, buy restoration tools and seeds and purchase an electric Polaris to traverse lightly through the forest lands.

Staff 2018 - Sarah Hines and Jilliana Wiersma

* An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium  Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada's largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.
Restoring the Land
Thanks to the help received from 1000 students and volunteers, we have planted 3000 trees (6 acres), repaired 200m of Marden Creek and restored almost 5 acres of marsh and forest by removing invasive Phragmites and European Buckthorn and replacing them with native plant species! Our educational workshops, tours and events have engaged a further 250 participants. So great to see so many new faces. Thank you to the County of Wellington's Green Legacy Programme for all the amazing trees and shrubs. We couldn't plant these forests without your support

New School Programs
Building on the success of our school programs, we are currently piloting a new program with the Wellington Catholic District School Board entitled 'Care for Our Common Home'. This fall over 200 Grade 7 students participated in planting trees, learning about the land and how to take care of it. There were also lots of fun activities that help nurture that sense of "awe and wonder' of the natural world.

Build it and They will Come!
The seasons dictate much of the work on the project - planting trees and removing invasive plants in spring and fall and in the summer months working in the creek and doing lots of building projects. If you walk the trails you will see many new boardwalks that allow folks to access the whole trail system through seasonally wet areas. If you were to enter at the Cross Creek Blvd Entrance you will get to see our beautiful new education pavilion. This structure was built using traditional timber-framing methods out of White pine and Red cedar. A big thank you to the Estate Builders crew for their outstanding carpentry.

Riparian Repair
Where land and river meet
Our ecological approaches to invasive management continue to draw interest from neighbouring community groups and municipal stewardship coordinators. You may see black plastic bags covering stumps or areas of the marsh. This solarisation (starving of light) method allows us to eradicate invasive plants that are detrimental to ecosystem health and animal habitat without the use of Glyphosate or other harmful herbicides. The plastic will be removed after two seasons and reused.
Protecting Farmland and Natural Areas
In November Kathryn Enders, Executive Director of Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT), presented us with a copy of their 1st edition book showcasing the farms and associated natural areas that have been protected since 2004. The OFT Conservation Easement agreement, secured in 2015, protects 93 acres of the Old-Growth Forest Project lands.

A Snapshot at the Year's Workshops 

1,4 - Home for Ducks - Building nesting boxes for cavity nesting ducks
2 - Restoring Marden Creek - Trout Unlimited and Community Volunteer Day
3 - The Facts on Phragmites -  Ecological methods of removing invasive phragmites
Volunteers, schools and community group opportunities
None of these restoration goals could be reached without the help and support of the community. We are truly thankful to our donors and volunteers!

Click on these links if you are interested in volunteering or our school programming or   donating to the Project.