Forests play a critical role in the world’s ecosystem given their role in filtering the air around us, keeping water clean, protecting biodiversity as well as helping to mitigate against climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
Globally, forests house more than three-quarters of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, food, medicines, and fuel for more than one billion people who would not have access to these resources from anywhere else.
“We are fortunate to have access to so much forested space in North Grenville. North Grenville is flanked by Ferguson Forest to the north, which has 1,100 acres of multi-use green space and Limerick Forest to the south, another 15,000 acres of community forest located in eastern Ontario. Kemptville is also home to the Kemptville Campus Agroforestry Centre and Sugar bush located in the heart of our community as part of the municipally owned Kemptville Campus,” highlighted Mayor Nancy Peckford.
“North Grenville offers ample greenspace opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy a cost-effective way of keeping physically active while enjoying nature,” added Mayor Peckford.
Ferguson Forest Centre
Ferguson Forest Centre promotes awareness of sustainable forest management and responsible use and stewardship of the forest, for the benefit of the residents of North Grenville.
“Ferguson Forest offers a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including an abundance of nature trails, access to the Kemptville Creek, disc golf, cross-country ski trails and a toboggan hill in the winter – and even a park for dogs to play safely,” added Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan.
“There are a number of medical studies that show spending time in a forest is beneficial to improve and sustain good mental health,” emphasized Councillor O’Sullivan.
With over 20 kilometers of nature trails to explore, the trails are shared by a diverse set of nature enthusiasts including, hikers, dog walkers (leash-only!), joggers, horse riders, snowshoers and Nordic cross-country skiers.
In addition, the Ferguson Tree Nursery grows high quality trees, shrubs and perennials native to eastern Ontario that are sold to people and organizations to help sustain our supply of forest products and improve the environment. In fact, the nursery produces over 1.7 million seedlings a year – the largest supplier of nursery stock for tree planning initiatives.
Agroforestry Centre – Kemptville Campus
Kemptville Campus Agroforestry Centre and Sugar Bush operates over 1,000 taps over 18 acres of sugarbush. The Peter Wensink Maple Forest and the Agroforestry Centre is part of the larger campus forest that is certified under the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), a worldwide initiative for sustainable forest management.
This year, The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association will be hosting Maple Weekend April 1 and 2 at the Agroforestry Centre (2627 Bedell Road). On The Bend Sugar Shack, in partnership with the Kemptville Campus, will be offering tours of the operation, guided forest tours, pancake, live music and other activities. Maple products will be available for sale on site.
Pancake breakfast will be served by the Kemptville Youth Centre and Kemptville Rotary Club. Cost is by donation with proceeds going to support the programming.
Managed by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, Limerick Forest provides for a wide variety of recreational opportunities and promotes forest management aimed at ensuring the forest remains healthy. Limerick Forest is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificated (FSC® C018800) through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest’s Forest (EOMF) Certification Program. The FSC® is an international, non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
There are ample educational opportunities to learn about local biodiversity – including interpretive trails. Limerick offers approximately 180km of multi-use trails used by recreation enthusiasts from snowmobiles, ATVs, to cross-country ski, snowshoeing, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
For more information on North Grenville’s Forests and Trails visit: www.NGtrails.ca
Ferguson Forest Centre: www.fergusonforestcentre.ca/
Maple Weekend April 1-2 (hosted at the Kemptville Campus Agroforestry Centre): www.facebook.com/FallInLoveNG
Limerick Forest: https://www.leedsgrenville.com/en/limerick-forest/limerick-forest.aspx
Forests are treemendous! Yeah Forests!