$250 – Sponsor an acre of the Big Pit!


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Our property sits on over 380 acres of forest, prairie, landscaped space, groomed trails, and of course the gravel pit. Our mission at Abbey Gardens is to regreen this space to create a community destination for recreation, education, and economic development opportunities in Haliburton County and beyond. We have a variety of projects on site that we have done in partnership with groups like Trent University, Ulinks, HCDC and more. These projects and studies have tracked soil building, soil amendments, various planting techniques, composting benefits, etc. From studies like these we can continue the growth and development of the gravel pit.

Some of the projects we’re currently working on include a soil amendment study with Trent University that tracks the impact of various additives like Biochar, household ash, compost, and more on growing, a tall grass prairie that uses native plants to build soil in our small gravel pit, and our Miyawaki Forest plots, where we’re using a relatively new (1980’s) tree planting technique for creating dense forest cover quickly on degraded or open sites. In this method, trees and shrubs are planted densely (3-5 trees/shrubs per 1 square metre), forcing quick growth to compete for light. The hardiest, fastest-growing specimens survive, while the slower ones die and contribute to the organic matter in the soil. Forests planted using the Miyawaki method typically reach maturity in 20-30 years instead of 100-200 years.

The trees planted in these Miyawaki plots reflect the species composition of the surrounding forest ecosystem. Slowly, with these and other efforts, we’re restoring this decommissioned gravel pit back to a thriving environment.
Our Ecological Project Coordinator has many other projects planned that will simultaneously contribute to the overall re-greening of our site, as well as provide demonstrable techniques and data that others can use to improve their spaces as well. By sponsoring an acre of the Big Pit, you are directly supporting these restoration and reforestation projects. These donors receive a complimentary annual membership to The Food Hub, where we sell products made from the vegetables and herbs we grow on site in these restored areas, as well as recognition on our Big Pit donor board, an installation we’re adding in 2022 to the entrance of the Big Pit.