• Start-up
  • Planning
  • Action
  • Evaluation

Creating healthier, climate-adapted forests & communities in the Ottawa Valley.

The Kiwanis of Pembroke Forest is a teaching forest, providing opportunities for landowners, locals, and nearby students to learn about climate-adaptive land management and the ecology of the region’s forests and plantations. As eastern Ontario is facing altered precipitation patterns, increased temperatures, and extreme weather events, increasing the health and diversity of the forest will help protect the Pembroke Forest for years to come.

Project Area

Kiwanis Property Map
The Kiwanis Property of Pembroke in eastern Ontario is a 99.77-acre property dominated by central hardwood-pine forests. Dominant tree species include red, white, black, and scarlet oak, along with other hardwood species. Some invasive species, such as Scott’s pine, honeysuckle, and garlic mustard are present on the site. The stand is a mix of natural conifer-hardwood forest with a red pine plantation at the front of the property. The land was likely cleared for farmland and logging in the 1800’s-1900’s before being planted with red pine to convert the site back to a forest. Currently, the land is owned by the Kiwanis Club, and is used as a teaching forest by the public and students from the forestry program at Algonquin College.

Management Goals

Kiwanis of Pembroke Interpretive Signage
  1. Increase biodiversity and resiliency of the forest to climate change and future disturbances
  2. Reduce invasive species cover and increase monitoring and awareness surrounding invasive species
  3. Educate and empower the landowners and the public to be involved in land management on the Kiwanis property and on private lands
  4. Maintain, create, and improve the opportunity for landowners, friends, and guests to enjoy the land for recreational and nature appreciation purposes such as hiking, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skiing, hunting, wildlife viewing, photography, citizen science, and other similar activities
  5. Enhance and appreciate the natural environment of the property. Also, to provide an educational component through field visits by local students and interpretive signs for recreational users
  6. Maintain, create, and improve the conditions needed to produce products from the land such as sawlogs, firewood, and wild edibles

Climate Change Impacts

For this project, the most important anticipated climate change impacts include:
Temperatures in the surrounding region are projected to increase 5.3 to 9.1°F by late century (2071-2100), with the greatest warming expected to occur during winter.
The growing season is generally expected to increase by 20 days or more by the end of the century, due to fewer days with minimum temperatures below 32°F.
The winter season will be shorter and milder with less precipitation falling as snow and reduced snow cover and depth. 
Precipitation patterns will be altered, with projected increases in total annual precipitation distributed unevenly among colder months (more precipitation) and warmer months (less precipitation).
Intense precipitation events will continue to become more frequent. 
Certain insects, pests, pathogens, and invasive species will increase in occurrence or become more damaging. Invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, and garlic mustard are expected to become more problematic under climate change.

Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change will present challenges and opportunities for accomplishing the management objectives of this project, including:


Increases in heavy precipitation events and storms may make the area inaccessible or dangerous to the public after blowdowns/storm damage.
With increases in winter temperatures, precipitation and lack of freezing conditions, winter recreation such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, etc. may not be accessible to this area.
Extreme heat days will deter people from visiting the site, and regeneration efforts to diversify the forest structure may be diminished in extreme weather events.
Pests and disease outbreaks by spongy moths, pine engraver beetles, European pine sawflies, and Diplodia tip blight will keep people from being able to enjoy the area and impact regeneration efforts.
The Diplodia tip blight disease is present in the region and will likely have more severe impacts on trees as drought conditions and extreme heat become more common.
Public perception of invasive management and pest control may become a challenge as well.


A longer growing season may lead to more opportunities for a greater range of southern species of both trees and vegetation to survive in the area.
Longer growing seasons and warmer temperatures will likely increase tourism in the region.
The site demonstrates historic forest vegetation that hasn't been in the area since colonization and largescale agricultural clearings.
There will be more opportunities to teach about climate change and impacts to the local students and the public which makes them better prepared for advocacy and careers in the forest sector, and better educated on future challenges.

Adaptation Actions

Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including:

Reduce the impact of biological stressors
Regular, sustainable thinnings to maintain appropriate stand-densities and ensure the health and pest-resistance of the forest.
Routine harvests to allow younger trees greater access to sunlight and nutrients. A shelterwood harvest will be used in white pine stands to encourage natural regeneration and decrease white pine weevil outbreaks under the shade of the partial canopy.
Monitor invasive species (such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, and garlic mustard) 2-3 times throughout the growing season. Invasive removal tactics will be planned in the near future.
Enhance species and structural diversity
Allow for natural regeneration of white pine, red pine, and white spruce to occur and/or hand plant to fill in newly opened spaces.
Increase the diversity of tree species in the sapling and pole size classes.
Underplant with spruce, white pine, and red pine to make up a more diverse mixed conifer forest.


Project participants identified several monitoring items that could help inform future management, including:
Seedling/sapling survival rate
Natural regeneration success
Overstory diversity
Invasive species presence
A tree planting assessment will occur after the first year, and regeneration surveys will take place every 2-4 years after.

Learn More


Forest threats
Insect pests