History


1991 – The project began with a wildlife garden and native plant nursery. It included three nature trails and demonstrations of innovative windbreaks, forest restoration and erosion control. We still offer regular workshops on a wide variety of natural history, silvicultural and related topics – birds, wildflowers, mushrooms, pruning, transplanting, as well as tours of the property and our work. The native plant nursery and Arboretum attract special attention, showcasing native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

1995 – Our summer nature camps had a humble beginning with less than 20 kids ages 6-10 participating in a one day a week summer long camp.

1997 –  Renovation work began on the old Macphail homestead barn. The building was in poor shape when we began but through donations, volunteers, and hard work, it was converted into our Nature Centre. It now houses our library, our classroom, a room for presentations, as well as displays of our Island’s Natural flora and fauna.

2001 – The Macphail Woods Project began, through a partnership with the West Royalty Home and School Association, planting the new school grounds with help from students.

2005 – This partnership has blossomed into the Acadian Forest Project, an effort from staff, students, and Macphail Woods to create a 4 Hectare Acadian Forest green space adjacent to the school. Students from every grade have participated in creating this outdoor learning space complete with a walking trail, an outdoor learning circle, fruiting shrubs, and wildlife habitat.

2002 – Our native plant Arboretum was expanded to include more specimens of our native trees, shrubs, ferns, and wildflowers. This has proved to be a crucial area in our educational workshops, camps, and courses.

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 will be used to demonstrate sustainable forest management and restoration of our native Acadian woodlands.

2008 – We purchased a bandsaw mill and our long-term vision includes having a woodworking shop where talented Island craftspeople can create high-quality wooden products from sustainably-harvested wood. In effect, these craftspeople would become part of our team of forest educators.

2009 – We began offering a popular experiential credit course on Ecological Forestry through U.P.E.I.’s Environmental Studies program.

2011 – Some of the public land that we are stewarding on the Gairloch Rd. was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada (FSC). This is the first public land on Prince Edward Island to be certified by these standards. The certification will help ensure more sustainable practices are used when harvesting from the land, as well as add value and markets for the products coming out of these woods.

2013 – Our “Sharing a love of Nature Camp” program now offers 8 week-long day-camps over the months of July and August, with over 120 kids from ages 5- 15.

2014 – With support from the PEI 2014 Fund, the Island Nature Trust, Upton Farm Trust Inc., City of Charlottetown and the Environment and Climate Change Canada EcoAction Community Fund, Maphail Woods afforested three ten-acre lots in each of the three provincial counties creating the Confederation Forests for generations to come.

2016 – We launched our School of Woodland Ecology. This initiative offers in-depth courses for adults on a variety of topics from native botany to woodlot management to ecological bushcraft camping! We also began our annual Festival of Forests celebrating PEI’s unique ecology in a fun family day!

2018 – We began teaching our first Ecological Forestry Field course at Acadia University. Finished our three-year Schoolground Naturalization project with Eliot River School and the Terry Fox Sporting Complex in Cornwall

Upcoming Events

Apr
27
Sat
7:30 pm Owl Prowl
Owl Prowl
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Come join the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in celebrating the wonderful world of owls at one of this year’s Owl Prowls. To meet the growing interest in these fascinating birds, there will be Owl
May
4
Sat
2:00 pm Landscaping with Native Plants
Landscaping with Native Plants
May 4 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Want to spend less time cutting grass and more time enjoying the beautiful plants around your home? This workshop introduces a variety of hardy native plants to attract wildlife and beautify your yard.
May
11
Sat
8:00 am Birds and Breakfast
Birds and Breakfast
May 11 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am
The Macphail Homestead will be open at 7am to serve a free “early bird” breakfast. Join other birders beside the fireplace in the Great Room for at hot beverage and breakfast treats to start your
May
18
Sat
10:00 am Pruning Trees and Shrubs
Pruning Trees and Shrubs
May 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Participants will practice pruning on a variety of plants in the nursery, arboretum and woodlands. Please bring along any of your favourite pruning tools. Workshop will include a slide show and demonstration of proper pruning
May
25
Sat
10:00 am Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
Creating and Maintaining Hedgero...
May 25 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
This workshop will look at on creating diverse, beautiful and functional hedgerows and windbreaks using a variety of native plants. Participants will learn about which plants are best, spacing, planting and maintenance.

Nursery Catalogue

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