2021 Greener Greenspace Profile
Forêt Capitale Forest
Based in Ottawa, ON, Forêt Capitale Forest is a non-profit organization dedicated to mitigating the effects of climate change by facilitating the planting of forests and raising awareness of the importance of trees and biodiversity. Their demonstration food forests and tiny forests on a 9-acre site in Ottawa is a place to engage the public, grow seedlings and showcase native tree species.
Design and Process
Forêt Capitale Forest demonstration forest is on National Capital Commission (NCC) land, on the site of the Just Food Farm, a non-profit organization supporting emerging farmers and land stewards. Forêt Capitale Forest’s land is a 9-acre site, spread out over four fields. The first two fields contain demonstration food forests with several hundred trees, shrubs and forbs planted over the last few years. Several small pathways - with names like Apple Alley, Berry Lane - pass through the plots and there is a nut grove and a seating area under a grape arbour.
In the second field, Forêt Capitale Forest has set up 4 different plots using the lasagna method to prepare the soil. Each plot corresponds to an average yard size in Ottawa, and is planted with fruit trees, shrubs and perennials. These plots will be well maintained and curated to showcase examples of what is possible to grow in the confinement of a typical home garden.
Fields three and four support the organization’s goals to afforest 1,000 hectares of land around Ottawa. To ensure the stock of tree seedlings, the organization is creating their own community tree hub by growing their own tree stock from seed and from locally rescued seedlings.
The fourth field contains four 'tiny forest’ demonstration sites using the Miyawaki method for rapid afforestation. To prepare the soil, they worked in leaf mulch, straw, compost, minerals and mycelial inoculant. Each site varies slightly in the soil preparation and will be monitored for best results.Community Collaboration
Forêt Capitale Forest relies on community volunteers for day-to-day activities such as watering and for special projects. Volunteers with or without planting experience are encouraged to get involved and are supported by the organizations' directors and others who have ecological and/or technical expertise. Now that the apple trees are maturing, Forêt Capitale Forest will begin collaborating with community groups to share their cider making equipment. This idea is modelled after the Scandinavian initiative where people bring their own apples from home to use community shared cider making equipment to press their apples to make cider.
For more information about Forêt Capitale Forest, visit their website.
Virtual tour of Forêt Capitale Forest
Presented by Directors Shelley Lambert and Stephanie McNeely
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.