Arkell Springs forest management

Arkell Spring forest helps protect Guelph’s water supply

Guelph is the largest Canadian city to rely almost exclusively on groundwater for its drinking water supply. Some of our water supply comes from the Arkell Spring grounds in the township of Puslinch. The City is working to ensure a healthy, diverse forest on the grounds, which helps stabilize the soil in the area, and filter the water as it soaks into the ground.

Turning a plantation into a healthy urban forest

Plantations of red pine were planted in the Arkell Spring grounds in 1964. The trees are declining because of poor soil conditions and over-crowding.

Unlike plantations, natural forests have a diverse mixture of plant and tree species which helps them withstand and recover from severe weather, pests, and diseases.

By thinning the plantation trees and planting a mixture of evergreens and hardwoods, we can simulate the diversity and succession that would occur in a natural forest for a lush, healthy forest that people and local wildlife can enjoy.

Leaving some dead trees on the ground provides nutrients to the soil, and wildlife habitat.

Working safely and mindfully—for humans and wildlife

Some trails will be closed while we’re working. Please obey all posted signs.

Thinning is scheduled so it doesn’t interfere with wildlife breeding seasons or bird fledging. To reduce noise and wildlife disturbance, machinery is not permitted to idle when not in use.

We’re using non-toxic latex paint to mark trees, and we have a spill response plan for equipment carrying fuel or oil.

Equipment is pressure-washed before arrival, and before departure, to minimize the movement of invasive plant seeds.

For more information

Water Services
[email protected]