30th Annual Woodlot Tour and Conference

Power of Active Management 

The 2023 Ontario Woodlot Association Annual Woodlot Tour and Conference is being held in Niagara-on-the-Lake and is being hosted by our Niagara Chapter. For our 30th year we are celebrating the Power of Active Management with five excellent plenary speakers, three options for tours, and we have an incredible Spring Celebration Dinner planned at the Queenston Heights Restaurant. We hope you will join us for this celebration, networking event, and opportunity to connect with fellow Woodlanders, professionals and students from across the province. 

Pre-registration is required for the Annual Woodlot Tour and Conference. 

Keynote Speaker

Plenary Speakers


Full conference agenda is available here.

Concurrent Tours - April 25th 

This year we are providing a choice between three tours to offer different options for learning goals, physical abilities and arrival times. You can choose the one that is best for you! Snacks and refreshments will be provided at each tour.

Select your tour by registering for the corresponding tour on the Registration Page. Contact olyvia.foster@ontariowoodlot.com if your preferred tour has reached maximum capacity. Pre-registration is required for the Annual Woodlot Tour and Conference. 

Woodlot Tours in the Carolinian Forest.

Niagara College Teaching Brewery features a tasting room and retail shop.  

Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Photo Credit: Yousif Attia.

Option 1: Woodlot Tour 

Meeting location: Hilton Garden Inn, 500 York Rd Niagara-on-the-LakeScheduled from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The group will tour woodlots with different management goals. The stops will include Woodend Conservation Area, Heartland Forest and Vineland Woodlot. With sweeping vistas of Lake Ontario and the escarpment slopes, Woodend is considered to have been an observation point during the War of 1812. Heartland Forest is situated on over 200 acres that includes 4 kms of easy access trails meandering through grasslands, wetlands and the largest stand of Carolinian Forest in the Niagara Peninsula. Our tour will conclude at the Vineland Quarry Woodlot which has the most management of the three sites. The group will spend approximately one hour at each stop. The tour will proceed rain or shine, so dress for the weather. Boots are recommended. Bussing will depend on numbers. Lunch is provided in the price of registration. 

Option 2: "Legal Vices"

Meeting location: Niagara College, 135 Taylor Road (Hwy 89 exit from QEW) at the Student Commons, just inside the Courtyard EntranceScheduled from 12:00 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

Groups will explore the "legal vices" of beer and wine in this tour of the open-concept state-of-the-art 1,500 sq. ft. teaching micro-brewery facility of Canada’s first Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program at Niagara College. Niagara College also has a Teaching Winery and is the only fully licensed teaching winery in Canada. This option will also include a tour of the apiary and the grounds at Niagara College. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors. Each registrant will be provided with a beer tasting or cider tasting included in the price of registration. 

Option 3: Bird Seminar

Meeting location: Niagara College, 135 Taylor Road (Hwy 89 exit from QEW) Room W111Scheduled from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

The Bird Seminar will be led by Ian Fife, Ontario Forest Birds Program Coordinator at Birds Canada. He'll teach the group about bird watching, nest and cavity identification and there will be a step-by-step lesson on how to participate in the Project Nest Watch app. The Bird Seminar will be entirely indoors. Snacks and tea/coffee are included in the price of registration. 

Queenston Heights Restaurant. Photo Credit: Niagara Parks Commission. 

Interior of Queenston Heights Restaurant. Photo Credit: Niagara Falls Buisness Events. 

View from Queenston Heights Restaurant. Photo Credit: Niagara Falls Buisness Events

Spring Celebration Dinner - April 25th 

Location: Queenston Heights Restaurant, 14184 Niagara River Pkwy, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Scheduled from 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. 

The elegant Queenston Heights Restaurant is located in picturesque Queenston Heights Park, just ten minutes north of the falls at the edge of the Niagara Escarpment. Savour the delicious culinary creations of Chef Bill Greenan while enjoying a sophisticated setting with one-of-a-kind views of the winding Niagara River from the restaurant’s elegant dining room. 

Around 6:00 pm there will be an Indigenous acknowledgement at Brock's monument, followed by a historical demonstration of musket firing by historians dressed as soldiers from the War of 1812. The Natural Heritage Manager of the Niagara Parks Commission will speak about Niagara Park Commission's responsibility as caretakers in helping to bring back the health of the river. The talk will also touch on some of the history and geography of the Heights, while overlooking the river. There will also be plenty of time to meet old friends and colleagues in this relaxing and elegant atmosphere. 

The four-course dinner includes fresh baked goods, soup, salad, an entrée of your choice, desert, and a tea or coffee. You will have your choice of one of four entrée options, including a vegetarian option. There will also be a cash bar. Prior to the event, you will receive an email with a survey to select your choice of main course and provide any information about dietary restrictions or allergies. 

A shuttle bus has been arranged to transport guests between the Hilton Garden Inn and the Queenston Heights Restaurant running on a continuous loop between 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm - 10:30 pm. 

Annual Meeting and Conference - April 26, 2023

Location: Niagara College, 135 Taylor Road (Hwy 89 exit from QEW). Scheduled 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

The Annual Meeting and Conference agenda can be found here

The Conference will be held at the bright and comfortable Niagara College facility in Niagara-on-the-Lake. All of the speakers will discuss the benefits of active and sustainable forest management and there will be a Q & A session at the end of each presentation. We are pleased to welcome Malcolm Cockwell, Managing Director of Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. as our Keynote Speaker for this year's conference.

  • Malcolm Cockwell will share the different businesses that comprise Haliburton Forest and how active management can take many forms. 
  • Rick Wismer, Regional Agricultural, Food and Beverage Leader at MNP will discuss how to manage our woodlots as a business and how together, we can improve Ontario's private land forest sector.
  • Allison WinmillTechnical Manager Forestry & Tree Nurseries of Lallemand Plant Care will discuss managing Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) as part of an integrative pest management program.
  • Dolf Wynia, retired forester will share how he uses best management practices on his very well managed and unique woodlot.
  • Dr. Michael Drescher, Association Professor in the Faculty of Planning at the University of Waterloo will share the results of a study to assess environmental best management practices in the agricultural sector.

In addition to the excellent lineup of speakers, there will be time to network, visit with old friends, speak with staff, and have your voice heard. The conference will also include a raffle for a battery powered Stihl chainsaw, the traditional silent auction, and merchandise will be available at the conference at a reduced price. Lunch will be provided and snacks will also be available throughout the day. 


The Ontario Woodlot Association reserved a limited number of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn, 500 York Rd Niagara-on-the-Lake. The group discount code is no longer available, but you are still able to book a room.

In the spirit of being in-person again, the OWA is looking to bring members closer together with the option of billeting for the upcoming Annual Meeting. If you are interested in hosting or staying with a host, please click here to complete the survey. Click here for a FAQ on this new option for billeting. Please contact sionaid.eggett@ontariowoodlot.com for inquires regarding billeting. 

Ontario Woodlot Association

10 Campus Dr., Unit 4

Kemptville, Ontario

K0G 1J0

Phone: 613-713-1525
Email: info@ontariowoodlot.com

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