Trees Ontario helps celebrate 100 years of the St. Williams Forestry Station
July 12 2008, Port Rowan, Norfolk County – On July 12, Trees Ontario was recognized for its funding support for the commemorative book, ‘They Had a Dream, A History of the St. Williams Forestry Station’ during the 100th anniversary celebration of the St. Williams Forestry Centre in Port Rowan.
The family fun event was complete with a picnic, greenhouse tours, forest walks and raptor demonstrations. Later that afternoon a ceremony was conducted to formally recognize the anniversary and launch the commemorative book, for which Trees Ontario was a funding partner. Trees Ontario Field Advisor Ed Borczon and Board Trustee Ken Armson joined the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources, and author Harry Barrett for the book’s official release.
In honour of St. Williams Forestry Station’s centenary, and the station being the first of its kind in Canada, Norfolk County has been named Forest Capital of Canada for 2008.
The station was created by the Ontario Government in 1908 to reforest vast areas cleared of trees following the first waves of settlement in Norfolk County from the late 18th century. In its first four years of operation, the St. Williams Forestry Station produced 1 million seedlings. It also holds a special place in the community’s history as a summer haven for Port Rowan residents and visitors, who whiled away the days playing baseball, swimming in the nearby stream or seeking shade under the trees.
Now under the management of ForestCare, the station ships an average of 25 million trees annually and continues to welcome visitors. An interpretive centre housed in the station’s original office opened in 2005, engaging a new generation of Ontarians to learn more about St. Williams and the importance of Ontario’s forests.
Trees Ontario is proud to be a partner in recognizing the long and successful history of this landmark in Canadian forestry and environmental education.