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Join us to plant a new forest in Guelph and enjoy an Environmental Fair near Earth Day

Rain or Shine!

Saturday, April 27th, 2024

9 am to 2 pm

 Parking (including for bikes), Site Access, and Environmental Fair at 335 Laird Road

Plant trees and enjoy the environmental fair with a variety of booths, entertainment, and food.

Trees, shovels, mulch, pails, and planting instruction provided.

Wear boots and gloves for your comfort.  Remember: There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Stay hydrated while you plant thanks to the City of Guelph's Water Wagon; bring your refillable water bottle and help reduce plastic waste.

As the forest matures, it will help clean our air and water, and sequester significant amounts of carbon each year.

This site will become part of a future pollinator flyway as we are adding a native wildflower section this year.

Trees such as native oaks, sugar maples, and shrubs like serviceberries are popular with pollinators and are well suited to restoring our natural heritage system. While native trees and shrubs are critical to the survival of many pollinator species (e.g. bees, butterflies, wasps, moths, some flies and beetles and hummingbirds), other species rely on different plants such as wildflowers and even some native grasses for food and habitat.  Adding these plants to the site will enhance biodiversity and species richness, benefiting the entire site. Attracting more pollinators to the site will also support other species up the food chain, such as birds, amphibians, spiders and others that prey on pollinators as larvae and as adults.
Recognizing this, in addition to the 1,400 woody plants for this year, over 400 - 2" X 2" X 5" plugs of native Ontario wildflowers and grasses will be planted in clusters along the edge of the site.  Subject to availability, the wildflower species planted will include: Pale Purple Coneflower, New England Aster, Fox Glove Beardtongue, Joe-Pye Weed, False Sunflower, Virginia Mountain Mint, Heath Aster and others.  Grass species that could be planted include: Big Blue Stem, Indian Grass, Switch Grass and Little Blue Stem Grass.
These plantings will complement other established pollinator-friendly plantings nearby - including one site previously supported by TD FEF - creating a "stepping stone" effect of "pollinator patches" that facilitate the movement of pollinators across an urban landscape.

This new forest will help clean our air and water, and become a home for nesting birds and other animals. As the forest becomes mature, it will sequester significant amounts of carbon every year.  The trees you plant will benefit generations to come. 
This 4.2 hectare site at 213 Clair Rd W will form a critical but fragile link between two large important natural areas.
It is a pinch point between the wetlands and forests of the Hanlon Creek and the natural areas of the Paris Galt Morraine.  It has been highlighted as an ecological linkage and restoration area in the Natural Heritage System of Guelph’s Official Plan because species and ecosystems can only thrive through large, interconnected networks. 
The thousands of native trees and shrubs we plant over the coming years will create a native forest community on the site.  This will improve the habitat and provide additional cover and refuge for travelling wildlife.
Located within the Hanlon Creek Subwatershed - a coldwater creek with the last remaining known brook trout population in the city. 
The site is protected as part of the City's Natural Heritage System in the Guelph Official Plan a part of an Ecological Linkage that also extends south of Clair Rd. 

The site provides the northern portion of the Ecological Linkage by connecting to the largest remaining natural area in Guelph. This natural area is comprised of Provincially Significant Wetlands, Significant Woodland, Significant Valleyland, Significant Wildlife Habitat, and several headwater reaches of Hanlon Creek including those with brook trout. 

South of Clair Rd, the Ecological Linkage connects to another large natural area comprised of Significant Landform associated with the Paris-Galt Moraine, Provincially Significant Wetlands, Significant Wildlife Habitat and Significant Woodlands. This portion of the Natural Heritage System extends through the Hanlon Creek Subwatershed and into the Mill Creek Subwatershed. The Ecological Linkage provides the only connection between the northern portion of the Hanlon Creek Subwatershed and the Mill Creek Subwatershed in the City and therefore is important for the movement of wildlife and the spread of plants and genetics.

Clair Rd at the south end of the site is identified in the Official Plan as a Wildlife Crossing Opportunity which means that in conjunction with public infrastructure improvements, the City will implement species-specific mitigative measures to minimize human-wildlife conflicts.
The site is currently classified as Cultural Savannah meaning it is a sparse woodland that has originated through anthropogenic influences. The creation of a native forest community on the site will increase habitat potential and provide additional cover and refuge for travelling wildlife.