Staff and volunteers clean up trails at Gillies Grove Nature Reserve. (Photo by NCC)

Staff and volunteers clean up trails at Gillies Grove Nature Reserve. (Photo by NCC)

NCC completes upgrades and trail maintenance at Gillies Grove

September 21, 2022
Arnprior, ON


Public invited to brush off their boots and help combat invasive species

Nature lovers near Arnprior are invited to come explore a cleaned up and revamped forest jewel this fall.

Since last spring’s devastating derecho storm, staff and contractors with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) have been busy clearing up dangling, dangerous tree limbs and refining trails throughout the forest at the Gilles Grove Nature Reserve. Eliminating hazards on the reserve’s trail network will also allow the forest floor to recover and regrow.

Before they even begin exploring the trails here, visitors will now be greeted at the trailhead entrance by a bristling new boot brush, awarded to NCC by the Invasive Species Centre. NCC received the boot brush last spring after demonstrating its commitment to controlling invasive species at its sites.

Once introduced, invasive species like periwinkle and glossy buckthorn can dominate ecosystems and effectively snuff out populations of many native species. When invasive species find themselves in a suitable habitat, there’s often little that can be done to fight them. The new boot brush at Gillies Grove will help control their spread by scrubbing out seeds and stems that may get stuck in the treads of visitors’ shoes.

New bilingual signs also welcome visitors to the forest trailhead, located on Ottawa Street in northwest Arnprior. Wayfinding signs also help hikers easily navigate the trails.

Gillies Grove is an old-growth pine forest in the heart of Arnprior that has been stewarded by NCC for over 20 years. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.


“From the new signs to the recent trail maintenance and boot brush, all of these upgrades at the Gillies Grove Nature Reserve work together to enhance the experience for visitors and support the forest’s health. We’re grateful to get to steward this old-growth forest with the help of friends, neighbours and partners, and look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to this natural jewel.”  Rob McRae, Eastern Ontario Program Director, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Creating strong public infrastructure is what ensures vibrancy, vitality and resiliency across our communities. Through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, the Government of Canada is enhancing locations like Gilles Grove Nature Reserve to improve Canadians quality of life and access to community spaces.” — The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large-scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.

NCC received a Government of Canada investment of $391,726 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) to complete the revitalization of nature trails and associated infrastructure at 12 sites across southern Ontario, including Gillies Grove. CCRF funding is delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

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Jensen Edwards
National Media Relations Manager
Mobile: (438) 885-9157

Tara King
Communications Director, Ontario
C: 416-937-5079

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