Tim Beckner (left) and Mike Devlin are members of the King Campus crew that has been working as part of a forestry thinning operation to achieve a safe, healthy and sustainable forest.
Harvesting for new growth
“This project is exciting because we’ll end up with a more diverse forest.”
July 30, 2020
Imagine getting a haircut to rid split ends and let new hair grow. That’s more or less what Seneca has been doing this summer to renew about 52 acres of forested area at King Campus.
The project is part of a 20-year forestry plan with multiple goals: environmental protection, biological diversity, recreation, nature appreciation, education and preserving wildlife habitat. By selective harvesting in the forest, new tree growth is made possible.
Also known as a thinning operation, the work will create gaps in the canopy and promote regeneration of native species.
“Prescribed thinning of the forest will allow us to use the materials that are harvested and at the same time infill-plant with different native species next year,” said Rick Greenlaw, Facility Manager at King Campus. “While a lot of people may not be excited when they look at how much is cleared out, after a year the new forest will be in and in two years you won’t even recognize logging was done. This project is exciting because we’ll end up with a more diverse forest.”
Since 2017, about 41,000 seedlings of different native tree species have been planted to increase the forested area at King Campus by about 17 acres. The property features numerous hiking and biking tracks, including a section of the Oak Ridges Trail. The tracks have been closed due to the thinning operation, but a few hiking trails are scheduled to reopen in August.