St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre is located on a 450 acre property that was home to Canada’s first Forestry Station, which has been operated as a nursery since 1908. The creation of this forestry station was in response to the forestry and farming that stripped Norfolk County of its forest cover. Under the leadership of Frank Newman, the St. Williams Forestry Station became the model reforestation and tree seedling production site in the province. It became a showcase and teaching facility as well as a 4000 acre demonstration forest. During the nursery’s time being run by the Province of Ontario, it produced many millions of bareroot reforestation seedlings.
In 2009, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre was created out of the vision to not only supply high quality tree seedlings, but as a science and innovation centre committed to supporting native biodiversity conservation, and ecological restoration in Canada. Similar to our predecessors who founded the Forestry Station, we are dedicated to biodiversity conservation. We believe strongly in the need to protect, enhance and restore the natural beauty and biodiversity of our landscapes.
Today, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre operates over 400 acres of field production and 10 acres of greenhouse space making it the largest source-identified native plant nursery in the province. We continue to be leaders in the nursery trade by specializing in native seed and plants for biodiversity conservation of Ontario native wild-type plant genetics.