Interpretive Centre

THE LIMERICK FOREST INTERPRETIVE CENTRE

Leasing:

The Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre is located at 1175 Limerick Rd., and may be leased for meetings or recreational/educational functions for a half day ($50 +HST), full day ($100 +HST) or a weekend ($150 + HST).  Your organization must have a minimum of $2 million liability insurance and be able to name the Counties as an insured third party.   If you are interested in additional leasing details please contact the Forest Manager at 613-342-3840, ext. 2416.  Please click on this link for a map with directions to the interpretive centre.

The Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre Story:

Limerick Forest is made up of many properties located across Leeds Grenville.  Most people however, associate Limerick with the tract known as "Limerick South", specifically the 150 ha of forest, wetlands and nature trails surrounding what was known as the Limerick "Chalet".  The Limerick Chalet was originally a one-room school house built in 1876.  It served the community until the mid-1960s when it was phased out of service.  Eventually the building was transformed into a work centre by the Department of Lands & Forests for tree planting and tending crews.  The Ministry of Natural Resources continued to utilize and expand the building in the 1970's and eventually it was closed when the Agreement Forest program ended in the late 1990's.  The building was opened again in 2001 when the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville (UCLG) and the Limerick Forest Advisory Committee (LFAC) began actively managing the Limerick Forest program. 

Over the years this building became the focal point of Limerick Forest playing host to numerous events including annual Open Houses, education days, school tours, tree planting events, workshops, forestry courses, horse-drawn wagon rides, guided nature walks, bird-watching hikes, horse logging demonstrations and international tours.  The 3 km Chalet Loop nature trail is a favourite destination for local hikers heading out to the 100 m boardwalk which extends into a large wetland located at the rear of the property.  During the winter months the surrounding trail network is used extensively by cross country skiers.  A separate trail network utilized by local snowmobilers also passes through this block.  Unfortunately time took its toll and the Chalet became unusable and had to be closed in 2007. 

Fortunately, in 2009 the UCLG (in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Trail The old Limerick Chalet in autumnRiders) received funding from the National Trails Coalition (NTC) to construct a new interpretive centre.  Built on the exact site as the original structure, the new facility was designed to complement the surrounding forest landscape and reflect the original Chalet's strong connection to the local community.  Hence the construction of a log building built with Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified red pine logs from some of the first trees planted in Limerick Forest in 1945.   In addition, some of the beams from the original Chalet were also preserved for future use in the new facility.

Demolition of the Limerick Chalet took place November 16-17, 2009.  Excavation of the new building's foundation started shortly thereafter.  Logs for the building were harvested from a red pine plantation less than a kilometre away as part of a larger shelter wood thinning operation planned for the 2009-10 season.  The Eastern Ontario Model Forest completed "Outsourcing" agreements with Coyote Log Homes to preserve the FSC® Chain of Custody for the red pine logs used in the construction of the building.  A similar agreement was signed with the flooring manufacturer who milled the pine flooring from white pine trees also harvested from Limerick.  These outsourcing agreements allowed the use of the FSC® logo to identify the red pine logs and white pine flooring as "FSC®-certified" products.

LNew Limerick Forest Interpretive Centre in Winterimerick Forest offers a wealth of recreational, educational and research opportunities.  The purpose of the interpretive centre is to provide a focal point in the heart of Limerick Forest from which visitors may increase their awareness and knowledge of the environment in an enjoyable and informative setting. This facility and the adjacent interpretive trails, boardwalk and surrounding forest cover provides an excellent "learning by doing" atmosphere for individuals and organizations alike.  The interpretive centre also fills the vacuum left by the closure of the Chalet, once again providing a location for the renewal of the regular activities once hosted at the Chalet such as guided nature hikes, the Limerick Forest Open House, school field trips, etc.  Numerous Cubs, Brownies and Cadet groups now lease the building for weekend "camps", taking advantage of the interpretive trails, boardwalks etc.