November 6th, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
in the Lecture Hall at Venture13

The Open House will include a presentation on the progress of the Plan to-date and collection of public input and feedback.
Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority staff have been busy working on several flood plain mapping projects over the past year. This work has been a collaborative effort between the Watershed Services Department and the GRCA’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Remote Sensing Lab, harnessing recent Provincial investments made in LiDAR and space-based survey technology. Prior to these proposed changes, the most recent updates to the mapping took place more than 20 years ago. The proposed changes reflect the most recent and accurate information available to the GRCA.
These projects were made possible largely by the Federal Government’s National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) funding which is currently planned to end in March 2020. This funding has been a significant assistance to Conservation Authorities and municipalities in providing up-to-date and accessible flood risk mapping that will that will help governments, communities and individuals to understand flood risks and employ effective mitigation strategies to reduce the impacts of flooding.

The GRCA is looking for large sites to plant trees. Participating in the GRCA Tree Seedling Program allows property owners to purchase bare root native tree and shrub seedlings at a minimal cost. Seedlings can be ordered in late fall through winter for a spring delivery. The minimum order is 25 seedlings. All seedlings come in bundles of 25. The total cost includes the cost of the seedling, an administrative fee and HST.

If you would like to increase the number of native trees and shrubs on your property, but are unable to plant them yourself, let the GRCA do the hard work for you. Five hundred or more native trees and shrubs can be planted for a fee. A planting plan is developed with your property goals in mind. The total cost to plant a tree varies; however costs include planting stock, hand or machine planting, an administration fee, shipping fee, site preparation, one-time post-planting tending and HST.

Funding for tree planting is available through the  Clean Water-Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program (CWHLFAP) . Funding may also be eligible for well upgrades/decommissions and agricultural projects.

To find out more about the GRCA Tree Planting Program, the CWHLFAP or to arrange for your free site visit, contact GRCA's Stewardship Technician , Pam Lancaster .

A friendly reminder that all forest users must obtain a day pass or membership to use the forest. These passes are non-transferable, and can be purchased online .

The forest closes to motorized use , with the exception of snowmobiles, as of November 30th. The trails will reopen in May of 2020.

Hunting season has begun. Always wear high-viz clothing when visiting the forest during this time of year. The shotgun season for deer generally runs during the first two weeks of November. Hunters must abide by all provincial hunting regulations, including obtaining valid permits and licenses. All hunters must comply with the provisions of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and all applicable municipal laws. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Hunting Regulations Summary should be consulted for a complete listing of seasons and regulations that pertain to hunting.

As winter approaches, and the forest is groomed for cross-county skiing and snowmobile use, please note that these dedicated trails are prohibited to all other uses.


  • Use only trails and roads that are open for use. Do not create new trails.
  • Make safety your primary consideration in all recreational activities. Be aware that all trails are multi-use and that you may encounter another forest user at any time.
  • Try to stay in the middle of the trail to avoid widening of them. Stay off soft, wet roads and trails that can be easily damaged. Avoid wetlands, water courses, steep slopes and other environmentally sensitive areas.
  • Yield to passing groups or those travelling uphill.
  • Make other forest users aware of your presence when approaching from behind by calling out or ringing a bell. This is particularly important when mountain bikers are intending to pass horseback riders.
  • Always be couteous to other users and respect the forest environment that enables you to enjoy your recreational activities.

A heads-up to avoid the Ochonski prairie from Nov 9th -12th. Trails in the area will be closed as the  c onservation authority continues with restoration efforts.

It's harvest season in the forest. For your safety, keep your eyes out for active cut blocks and closed trails . Remember to  stay clear of areas  where harvesting is occurring - be cautious, be safe!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the GRCA 's Forester, Gus Saurer , or Forest Recreation Technician, Ed Van Osch .
GRCA hosted Forest Gene Conservation Association ’s ‘Certified Seed Collector Workshop’ September 30th - October 1st. GRCA staff attended the training to learn the ins-and-outs of the importance of tree seed for Ontario’s future forests. One highlight of the training was visiting the harvest in the Central Forest where White Pine originating from the States (as far down as Tennessee and Georgia!) had just finished being thinned. These pines were full to the brim with pine cones and were the perfect example to demonstrate the practical and theoretical applications of seed collecting. Moving forward, the GRCA will be looking to integrate principles of seed collecting to further assist in the long-term, resilient management of the Forest. If any certified seed collectors are currently using the Forest as a source, the GRCA encourage them to contact Forester, Gus Saurer , as their forecast data could really help the conservation authority with timing for harvests.
On October 3rd the Forest Historical Society of Ontario (FHSO) lead the 80th anniversary tree planting tour through Durham and Northumberland. Following the itinerary of a 1939 tour of the first tree planting projects in the area, the FHSO led local historians and forest buffs to multiple sites to see just how much has changed on the landscape in 80 years. Stops included Northumberland County Forest, the Hazel Bird Nature Conservancy of Canada Property, and the West Forest of the Ganaraska Forest (the former Durham County Forest tracts) where a full conversion of red pine to white pine and oak has occurred. Pam Lancaster, GRCA Stewardship Technician, spoke about managing a large, multi-use community forest and where the GRCA is taking it in the future.
2020 public events are being planned! First up, Family Cross-Country Ski and Snowshoe Day on January 18th. Spaces are limited for the two sessions - 9:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Call 905.885.8173 to reserve your spot.