Home > Featured News > Volunteers Create the Base for our Mini Forest

The mini-forest soil preparation day April 13 went really well.  Now we just have to wait five to six months for the optimal soil conditions to develop!  About 300 plants trees and shrubs  will be planted by volunteers this fall.  The forest is being planted at Corbett/Hyland Park, the greenspace between Empress, Sussex, Elgin and Chambers Streets

Over forty volunteers braved the cold, wet weather and worked in four shifts to lay down the layers needed to create a base for the mini forest.  They tackled  one 1 m x 5 m strip at a time so it would be easier to roll the wheelbarrows into position.  The forest shape was marked on the grass the week before.  On Saturday the procedure was to lay down the cardboard, wet it, and top it  with a layer of leaves.  A layer of compost was laid on top of that, followed by layer of wood chips.   Some people worked on loading up the wheelbarrows and dumping them in place, and others worked on spreading the materials evenly.    Our thanks to the Town of Smiths Falls for delivering the piles of materials the day before from their community compost site.  Gemmill’s Garden Centre provided a water truck and hoses to wet the cardboard down. 

Thanks to everyone for their energetic and enthusiastic participation.  We had a wide spectrum of volunteers, from teenagers to older folks, people from the neighbourhood, Town Councillors  and REAL members.  Dave Thornley from REAL’s board coordinated the whole operation. 

Next steps will include some strategically placed large rocks at the edge of the site, courtesy of Campbell’s Trucking.  Some Grade 7/8 students from Duncan J. Schoular School have painted some paint stir stick with inspiring messages.  The sticks will be placed on the forest bed Wednesday  April 17.  At 1:30 p.m. that day there will be a brief opening ceremony by the Town of Smiths Falls and a chance for some photos.   This ceremony had to be cancelled due to the rain the Friday before.  The mini forest team will also be ensuring the site is watered periodically throughout the summer...    

REAL will be contributing five trees to be planted on the Empress Street side of the park, separate from the mini forest, to provide some additional shade.  Plans are still being finalized but it is  looking like a basswood, cottonwood, silver maple, tulip tree and one other native species will be planted this spring. 

Watch for more details about planting day in the fall in local media, on Facebook and on this website.  We will be adding to the Mini Forest page started on this website under the Greenspace tab.

If you are interest in supporting this project with a financial contribution, you may do so at CanadaHelps.org.  There is a “Mini Forest” option on the drop down menu.