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A Volunteer’s Tour of Glen Elbe

By April 13, 2021April 15th, 2021No Comments

The Farm at Glen Elbe is unlike any other TIWLT Property. With a historic house, 2 barns, a beautiful garden, and large grounds, it’s a piece of our area’s natural and cultural heritage. We plan to turn this beautiful property into a community learning hub, where you can walk the trails with a TIWLT guide and learn all about the property’s unique history and features. Realizing this vision, however, will take a lot of work for our small team, and so we need you to help us unlock the full potential of this property. Come take a tour with us around the Farm at Glen Elbe and learn how you can make our dream a reality.

Starting in the garden, it’s already clear Glen Elbe is a beautiful property. The large, Victorian-style garden was split into three pieces last year. One third will be planted in with native wildflowers, showcasing some of the native beauty of this region. One third will be retained as a Victorian garden, with hundreds of lupines, a white lilac tree, a pond, and a walking path. The final third was overturned and used as a vegetable garden last year, which produced some monstrous vegetables. Of course, taming such a large garden is a challenge, and we’re looking for green-thumbed folks to help us plan and maintain it.  

Glen Elbe Gardens
Photo: Marnie Ross

From the garden we venture into the house proper, which has seen several changes since we started. With new interior walls, a new ceiling in the addition, updated insulation, and many more changes, this historic building is getting fitted with all of the modern comforts. However, there is work yet still to be done inside. We need volunteers to help with unskilled labour – lifting, moving, cleaning etc. Whatever your level of experience or ability, we have a job for you!

Exiting the house onto the grounds, we come to the future site of the Glen Elbe Climate Change Arboretum, a place where tree species from Southern hardiness zones will be planted as a demonstration of what our future forests may look like with warming temperatures. Preparing the grounds will take some work – we’ll have to plan out where the trees will go, make a path, do the appropriate landscaping, and maintain the saplings as they grow. It will be a labour of love as we create something amazing – and you can be a part of it.

Photo: Marnie Ross

Finally, beyond the Arboretum, we move to the property’s conservation reserve. Here, we are planning to update the existing trail, to be used for free nature walks and educational events. It will truly be a place for TIWLT to build bridges with the community. Before we can do that, however, we need to build some actual bridges, to connect some of the rougher parts of the trail and minimize the impact of our use. We’re looking for hammer-swingers to help us with this project – as well as some folks to do general trail maintenance and invasive species removal.

Interested in any of the volunteer opportunities above? Want to do your part in creating the Glen Elbe Learning and Experience Centre? Contact us to get in touch and let us know how you’d like to help!