What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Acadian Forest

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: Acadian Forest

Melanie Priesnitz, Conservation Horticulturist


If you’ve read my column, taken one of my courses, or walked through the woods with me, you will know that I spend a lot of time talking about why the Acadian Forest Region is such a precious place and how important it is that we work together to preserve it. For one night on Monday October 23 I get to sit back and listen to someone else share their passion and knowledge of our amazing, unique, and at-risk forest.


To kick off Acadia’s Sustainability Week we are bringing Gary Schneider here from Prince Edward Island to share his knowledge of forest restoration. Join us for a free public talk, “Restoring the Acadian Forest: Engaging community to increase biodiversity,” on Monday October 23, 7:30pm-9pm in the auditorium at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. We are in for a real treat as Gary is an engaging and passionate speaker, and his love of nature is infectious. You will leave with a greater understanding of why it’s so important to cherish and preserve our forests and hear about new ideas for engaging communities in conservation work.


Gary co-chairs the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island and started the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in 1991. The project demonstrates ecologically sound forest management and restoration, centred around environmental education, conservation of rare plants, and bringing back the native Acadian forest. Gary and his team do phenomenal environmental education and outreach work and are very active in forest restoration on the Macphail woods property and across PEI. Macphail Woods manages 2,000 acres of public forest land for the provincial government and has received numerous awards in recognition of their work in forest restoration and rehabilitation. Gary is a member of the federal Multi-Interest Advisory Committee helping to rebuild Canada’s environmental assessment process and has been a member of the provincial Round Table on Land Resource Use and Stewardship.


Gary will be sharing his knowledge with Dr. Alan Warner’s Environmental Education class while in town as well as giving a talk to the Friends of the Acadian Forest volunteer group. Thanks so much to the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Department at Acadia and the Friends of the Acadian Forest for their sponsorship of Gary’s visit. Sustainability Week events are happening on campus all week long from October 23–27. To learn more visit Acadia’s Sustainability office website: sustainability.acadiau.ca/acadia-sustainability-week.html


Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens

Acadia University