Please Note

Our upcoming free events have been cancelled for the month of July due to the current Covid crisis.
Our Site is open only by appointment, no walk-ins.
Contact Daniel McRae for more information
Please take care of each other and stay safe.

Since 1991, we’ve been offering a variety of free programming, from fun-for-the-whole-family events like our popular Owl Prowls to hands-on workshops like Pruning. We love to share our expertise and enthusiasm with anyone curious about our native landscapes.

Due to popular demand, our offerings have grown to include our adventure-filled Sharing a Love of Nature Summer Camps, our in-depth School of Woodland Ecology, and our immersive University Courses.

If you have any questions please contact us by phone (902)651-2575 or email:

Click here to download a PDF of our Events Calendar

Online Events Calendar

2020 Owl Prowl #4 – Cancelled
Apr 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Please Note

All our April events have been cancelled due to the current Corona crisis.
We will be making further announcements in April about future events.
Please take care of each other and stay safe.

Join us for a slide show and talk on owls, then walk the trails learning how to hoot for Owls.

The Macphail Foundation will open the Great Room of the Homestead at 6:30pm and serve light refreshments. There will be no cost but donations to the Foundation will be gratefully accepted.

Although we offer multiple owl prowls, we ask that you only attend one so that everyone has an opportunity to participate and please come early as it fills up quickly.

Landscaping with Native Plants
May 2 @ 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.

Plants of Prince Edward Island with Kate MacQuarrie
Jun 6 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Kate, one of the province’s foremost biologists, will focus on many of the plants, both native and non-native, that you commonly encounter, plus a look at lots of rare trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns. You won’t want to miss this one.

Shelter-building for Kids
Jun 6 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Shelterbuilding for Kids

Take your fort-building skills to the next level! On Saturday, June 1, staff of the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project will be leading a free workshop on Shelterbuilding for Kids. This event takes place on the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead in Orwell, and begins at 10am in front of the Nature Centre.

This is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to get outside and learn more about shelterbuilding do’s and don’ts. It is another way to build positive memories of being outside and enjoying nature. The instruction includes everything from how to hang a tarp securely to how to harvest material without being destructive.

You’ll be encouraged to let your wild creativity fly by designing and building your own outdoor shelter. It is a great experience to create something special while working with other people.

This will be the second year offering this workshop, and it was wildly popular in 2018. No registration is necessary. Participants are advised to bring good walking shoes and clothing appropriate to the weather conditions. For more information, call 651-2575, check out our web site ( or visit us on Facebook.

Over the years, hundreds of people have taken part in the plant workshops at Macphail Woods and become more observant of the natural world around them. This event is just one of the many nature and forestrelated walks and workshops sponsored by the Environmental Coalition of PEI throughout the year.

SWE Backyard Botanist I: Native Botany
Jun 13 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Backyard Botanist I: Native Botany

Participants of this half-day course will learn about the types of plants that can be found on PEI, from liverworts and mosses to trees and ferns. Using our native plant nursery and arboretum as well as forest trails, we will have hands-on examples to demonstrate how plants grow, how roots systems connect, strategies for survival and propagation and more.

Bundle this course with Backyard Botanist II for only $100

Learn More About our School of Woodland Ecology

SWE Backyard Botanist II: Pruning
Jun 13 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Backyard Botanist II: Pruning

This course will focus on learning hands-on skills that you can take home to your yard to help ensure the vigour and beauty of your trees and shrubs. Over the four hours, participants will learn proper pruning techniques to help maintain healthy, attractive and safe trees.

Bundle this course with Backyard Botanist I for only $100

Learn More About our School of Woodland Ecology

SWE Plant Identification I: Native Trees
Jun 27 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Plant Identification I: Native Trees

The course provides outdoor hands-on experience looking at leaves, buds, branches, bark and the basic patterns of native tree identification. We’ll also walk the Macphail Woods grounds to look at specimens of all the native species of trees as well as some of the preferred habitats of these beautiful organisms.

Bundle this course with Plant Identification II for only $100

Learn More About our School of Woodland Ecology

SWE Plant Identification II: Shrubs & Beyond
Jun 27 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Plant Identification II: Shrubs and Beyond

Shrubs provide habitat and food for wildlife as well as a staggering number of ecological benefits from nitrogen fixation to shoreline protection. This four-hour course will take us into the Macphail Woods Arboretum which showcases many of the native shrubs you can find across the province. We’ll also introduce a selection of ferns and wildflowers.

Bundle this course with Plant Identification I for only $100

Learn More About our School of Woodland Ecology

SWE Woodland Ecology II: Forest Assessment
Aug 8 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Woodland Ecology II: Forest Assessment

When trying to manage a forest, being informed about the specific composition of species, soils, water and light is a must. This day-long course will give you practical experience assessing a variety of forest types, continuing to develop the skills introduced in course one.

Learn More About our School of Woodland Ecology

September Stargazing
Sep 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Learn about the night sky and get to know some constellations. This outing will teach some basics of astronomy and then head out into the dark for naked-eye stargazing

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