About the Project

Helping Islanders fall in love with their forests.

We are a non-profit, charitable initiative of the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island. We work to protect natural areas through wildlife enhancement, forest stewardship, watershed protection, environmental education and ecological research. 

The project is based out of Orwell, Prince Edward Island, on a historic site. We have a teaching space, native plant nursery, greenhouse, arboretum and trails. We use the site to propagate rare species, teach courses, and demonstrate sustainable forestry practices. 

The location of the project was inspired by the beautiful stretch of old-growth forest on the property. When Macphail Woods began in 1991, it was only a wildlife garden and a small native plant nursery, along with a few trails. The old barn belonging to the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead was eventually renovated to become the nature centre, our teaching and office space. 

In 2005 the project reached an agreement with the Provincial Government to manage 800 hectares of public land in southeastern PEI. Under the 10-year lease agreement, the lands are used to demonstrate sustainable forest management and restoration of the Wabanaki-Acadian forest.

Since the project's inception, various programs have grown and been developed. Through our summer camps, chainsaw safety training, native plant sales, or restoration projects, we strive to connect Islanders with the ecosystems around them. 

Directions to reach Macphail Woods: Turn off from the Trans Canada Highway 1 onto the Macphail Park road. The road will turn to dirt. Continue driving along that road until you see a driveway on your left with a large green gate flanked by stones. There will be a large sign for the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead. The Macphail Woods Nature Centre is up that driveway, beyond the Sir Andrew Macphail historic house. The nature centre is a renovated old barn, with weathered shingles. The Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead, which is an old white house. 

If you are coming to Macphails for a workshop, course, or children’s camp, you can enter through the front of the Nature Centre (under the owl). Our nursery and greenhouse are located behind the nature centre, which is where you can pick up plant orders and browse our potted selection. 

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