Celebrate the arrival of spring and learn about reforestation on Saturday, April 25. The general public is invited to the Spring Field Day and Annual General Meeting of the Ontario Woodlot Association (Limestone Chapter) at Chaffey’s Lock, Queen’s University Biological Station, near Elgin. The highlight is a tour of an intensive study of the field-to-forest regeneration process.
Forty years ago, Dr. Dolf Harmsen began a research project studying the conversion of farm field to woodland. Using the Queen’s University property at Chaffey’s Lock, he has monitored test plots for four decades, comparing different methods of encouraging reforestation of old agricultural land.
This 50-year experiment challenges the generally accepted theory of succession in plant communities. Observing many local ecosystems, he has concluded that plant communities are really only one component of more complex systems, and that animals of all sorts must play a role in this holistic “ecosystem succession.”
Dr. Harmsen (who has a PhD in insect development from Cambridge University) will report his findings and discuss the prospects for the next 10 years of this novel project. Inquisitive folks are welcome, so bring your questions and zeal to the event. Appreciate the beauty of the 3,200-hectare Queen’s property at Chaffey’s Lock.
The Ontario Woodlot Association is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable forestry practices. The OWA has evolved into a major player in forest education and support for private woodland owners. Visit www.ont-woodlot-assoc.org/
On April 25, the program runs from 9:30 am to 3 pm. At 10:30, Dr. Harmsen will conduct his tour, and participants are advised to wear appropriate clothing for dense, thorny conditions! Lunch will be provided at noon, followed by the AGM. The finale will be a Q and A session with a variety of forest professionals. This gives participants the opportunity to ask about forest management, sawmilling, wildlife habitat, etc. A tour of a nearby butternut tree stand is also an option.
The Biological Station is located on Opinicon Road, and it will be signed. This event is free for OWA members; for non-members, the cost is $15 each. For non-members who bring their own lunch, the cost is $7 each. Pre-registration is required. Please contact 613-373-9334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.