Project Vision

The 500 Year Forest

Endless forests once covered southern Ontario in a tapestry of maples, oaks, elms and cedars. Today, much of that old growth has disappeared, replaced by urban sprawl. The Plant an Old-Growth Forest Project will bring a piece of that original forest back to life on the grounds of Ignatius Jesuit Centre, just north of Guelph's city limits.

The Plant an Old-Growth Forest Project will protect 40 hectares of land on the grounds of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre. Benefiting both community and our local ecosystem, our project will provide:

  • Habitat for a rich diversity of wildlife and peaceful backdrop a pristine Speed River.
  • Corridors of forest connecting the Ignatius site to other natural landscapes in the region.
  • An inspiring setting for spiritual development and ecological learning.

We'll watch this 500 year progress starting now, as planting plans are realized, and pioneering plants give way to mature forest development.

Project Goals

Restore, Preserve and Protect
  • Create the conditions for the development of a permanent old growth forest ecosystem on the land of the Ignatius Jesuit Centre located north of Guelph.
  • Experiment in appropriate ecological restoration in an urban environment.
  • Incorporate the land’s historical ecological makeup and anticipated future environmental changes (like climate change) in the ecological restoration work.
  • Inspire connective ecological restoration in the region.
  • Engage the community in a long-term (500 year) project that seeks to re-establish links between nature and settled environments.
  • Use the project as a means for spiritual development and ecological education guided by Ignatian spiritual values.
  • Identify and protect the significant historic and cultural elements found on the subject lands, for purposes of education, information and interest.