- 2024 marks the 100th anniversary of the York Regional Forest, and the Region has prepared a special celebration taking place throughout the year to mark the occasion.
- The celebration will include a wide range of guided forest walks, events, and activities every month, hosted by forestry experts.
- The Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum has also opened a historical exhibit for residents to learn about the century-long journey of our local forests. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Another exhibit will be located at Stouffville’s Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre on Highway 48, which will be open during forest walks and events.
- Indigenous history, culture, and language have been integrated into the events and exhibits with support and input from Indigenous partners and community members.
- Finally, the Region has prepared a photography contest to help highlight the beauty and diversity of the Regional Forest.
Established in 1924, the York Regional Forest began with the purchase of Whitchurch-Stouffville’s Hollidge Tract. Over the next 100 years, reforestation efforts and further land purchases led to the incredible forests residents throughout the Region enjoy today. Now covering over 2,500 hectares, the Forest includes 24 forest tracts, over 150 kilometres of trails, more than 50 tree species, and habitat for a diverse range of native wildlife.
As part of the celebration, a 142-hectare property acquired in 2021 at McCowan Road and Queensville Sideroad in the Town of East Gwillimbury will be named the “Centennial Tract,” a York Region press release explained. A community tree planting event will be held at this tract in the spring of 2024.
“This 100-year milestone demonstrates York Region’s strong commitment to protecting and restoring the natural environment and providing access to greenspace for residents,” Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and CEO, said in the press release. “We look forward to honouring the York Regional Forest’s natural beauty and celebrating a legacy of conservation and our shared commitment to preserving the Forest for generations to come.”
*Cover image courtesy of The Regional Municipality of York