Ferguson Forest Centre and International Day of Forests

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According to the UN, March 21 is the International Day of Forests – a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests. The theme for 2020 is Forests and Biodiversity.

“This is a great opportunity to remind people about the benefits of forests in general and the role Ferguson Forest Centre plays in supporting them,” said Wes Herring, Vice-President of the Ferguson Forest Centre Corporation (FFC).

“And with this year being the 20th anniversary of the Centre as a social enterprise, we’ve got lots to celebrate.”

The Ferguson Tree Nursery is the revenue-generating side of the FFC. With the changing landscape in tree planting programs and uncertainty for the traditional bareroot seedling market, the Tree Nursery is adapting to ensure its continued success into the future.

“We’ve started growing more species to meet the biodiversity needs of rural landowners,” stated Ed Patchell, CEO of the Tree Nursery. “We will be growing more hardwoods like Maple, Oak, Hickory, Cherry and other species. We’re also growing more shrubs and trees that produce edible products and are better for wildlife.”

Another exciting direction for the Ferguson Tree Nursery is the collection, processing, storage and sales of seed from perennials to tree seed. With the closure of the Provincial Government’s Tree Seed Plant, the nursery industry faced a large void in the supply of good quality locally-sourced seed.

The Ferguson Tree Nursery intends to fill this gap by collecting seed and cones from throughout southern Ontario to supply its own needs, as well as those needed by other nurseries and private individuals.

With seedling orders up from previous years, Ferguson staff and board are optimistic. “We expect to be here for the long term,” stated CEO Patchell. “The Ferguson Tree Nursery has a bright future ahead of it.”

Ferguson Forest Centre recently launched a fresh, new website: www.FergusonForestCentre.ca. The site provides information to residents and visitors looking to explore the Forest Centre’s unique recreational green space, including a dog park, arboretum, Veteran’s Way, Anniversary Park, and 22km of trails. A link on the site directs those looking for tree purchases to www.FergusonTreeNursery.ca.

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