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Grey Nuns White Spruce Park

Reforestation Project

In the spring of 2017, another 3000 white spruce (Picea glauca spp.) will be planted on the west side of the forest to continue to return the area to its native forest as directed in the ‘Grey Nuns White Spruce Park’ management plan.  This is in addition to the 5000 planted in the former pasture on the southeast side of the forest in the spring of 2016 and is helping to create a sustainable White Spruce Forest.

The seedlings were produced from cones collected in the fall of 2013 from among the Historic White Spruce Forest and were grown in a nursery prior to being planted. To provide the best chance at success, the site was mounded in April 2016, a process which turns over the soil to provide raised growing sites for these seedlings, making them higher than the competition around them.  Funds for production, site preparation, planting, and ongoing enhancements of these seedlings have been obtained from Grants, Corporate donations, and the City of St Albert. 

More projects are planned for following years as the forest and park is developed and eventually becomes part of the Municipal Parks Inventory. It is hoped this expansion of the forested area along with the interior planting of open areas will allow the historically designated ‘White Spruce Forest’ to continue in perpetuity.

Take a Walk Through History

This ecologically and historically significant area located just east of Ray Gibbon Drive includes the White Spruce Forest, designated as a Municipal Historic Resource. Many of the trees are well over 100 years old, providing habitat for a variety of birds, mammals, plants, and amphibians.

For the sustainability of the forest, please:

  • Leave no trace
  • Pick up after your pet
  • Stay on existing trails
  • Leave trees, both living and non-living, in place

How do I get there?

Currently, access to the Park is from the Red Willow Park trail that crosses over from Riel Recreation Park at Ray Gibbon Drive. Park at the end of Rodeo Drive by the BLESS Shelter and head west along the trail to the bridge.

Grey Nuns White Spruce Park Quick List:

  • Walking / Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing

Grey Nuns White Spruce Park Management Plan

In May 2014, the City Manager approved a management plan for the Grey Nuns White Spruce Park. The management plan is meant to guide decisions about managing and protecting the forest but also to create opportunities for the community to learn about and use the forest.

If you have any questions about the management plan please contact:

Erin Pickard - Community Recreation Coordinator

View the Grey Nuns White Spruce Park Management Plan.

The Grey Nuns White Spruce Park management plan took home the 2015 Parks Excellence award from the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association. View the video.

Reforestation trial begins in the Forest

The Grey Nuns White Spruce Park Advisory Committee continues to work on plots to reforest seven 10 metre diameter areas of the forest with white spruce.

There is no regeneration of the White Spruce in some areas and an adaptive management plan is being piloted to ensure sustainability of the forest. The pilot plantings will be managed to ensure success among the numerous species that are thriving on the forest floor. The findings will help plan remediation for other areas of the forest especially where trees are blown down.

If you come across the trial plot please be careful to ensure healthy growth of our new trees.

Last edited: October 13, 2017

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