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Brian and Margo McClean

The McCleans are self-described environmentalists who have made the conscious decision to own and preserve a piece of Ontario forest. Their dream came true when they acquired a woodlot in 2013.

The original owner suggested they would benefit from joining the OWA, and so they did. Since then, they have attended events, learning about sustainable forest management and have become FSC certified.

Through their contact with forestry professionals and other OWA members, the McClean’s have learned about the work involved in caring for wooded land. Monitoring for pests, dealing with invasive species and learning about forest health is all part of being good stewards. They have also found a local land trust which will carry on their work in perpetuity.

Brian and Margo belong to the Ontario Woodlot Association because of the emphasis the organization places on stewardship and best forestry practices.

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  • The Madzo Family
    The Madzo Family

    The Madzo family lives in Bismark in the centre of the Niagara Peninsula where 88 year-old Louie Sr. works the farm with his son, Louie Jr. Their land includes 10 acres of mixed hardwoods which they actively manage and, when he retired in 1993, Louie Sr. began adding white pine for extra diversity.

    He cleared shrubbery in the woods by hand, using pick axe and shovel, and then planted seedlings obtained from the 1st Provincial Nursery in St. Williams. With approximately 500 planted each year, the family is very proud of the 3,000 pine which now stand 40 feet tall in their woods. Louie Sr. says “They have added a wonderful diversity to the woodlot, in both summer and winter.”

    In 2005, with the help of Trees Unlimited and the Niagara Woodlands Restoration Fund, 5,490 bare root seedlings were machine planted on 6.1 acres adjacent to the hardwoods, adding additional diversity and almost doubling the total acreage of the family’s forest.

    In 2013, the Madzo’s were awarded the Niagara Woodlot Association’s “Woodlot Owner of the Year” award.

    One of Louie Sr.’s favourite sayings is: “Plant a tree today and retire in the shade!”

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