Ecology Park is an oasis of nature hidden in the heart of Peterborough

Showcase of sustainable landscape ideas and resources is managed by GreenUP staff and volunteers

The GreenUP Ecology Park is one of Peterborough's hidden gems. Located beside Beavermead Park, the five-acre park offers display gardens and naturalized areas, a native plant nursery, children's programs, a garden market, skills-building workshops, hands-on displays, and more. (Photo: GreenUP)
The GreenUP Ecology Park is one of Peterborough's hidden gems. Located beside Beavermead Park, the five-acre park offers display gardens and naturalized areas, a native plant nursery, children's programs, a garden market, skills-building workshops, hands-on displays, and more. (Photo: GreenUP)

When approached by new visitors to GreenUP Ecology Park, staff members often hear “I never knew this place existed!”

Whether you have lived in the Peterborough area for one year or 20, GreenUP Ecology Park remains a hidden gem.

Our five-acre park, located beside Beavermead Campground, is a showcase of sustainable landscape ideas and resources. We host display gardens and naturalized areas, a native plant nursery, children’s programs, a garden market, skills-building workshops, hands-on displays, and more! The park has everything you need to be a good, local steward.

GreenUP Ecology Park has been in its current location for 25 years. Although it is a public park, it is managed by the many efforts of GreenUP staff and volunteers, not city workers. Ecology Park is part of GreenUP and is a non-profit registered charity.

Shoppers select from a huge variety of native plants from the GreenUP Ecology Park Garden Market, on opening day this spring. The Garden Market remains open all season long Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or you can walk through and enjoy the gardens any time. (Photo: Karen Halley / GreenUP)
Shoppers select from a huge variety of native plants from the GreenUP Ecology Park Garden Market, on opening day this spring. The Garden Market remains open all season long Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or you can walk through and enjoy the gardens any time. (Photo: Karen Halley / GreenUP)

Each individual involved in the park over 25 years has contributed to the beautiful landscape that exists today.

While visiting Ecology Park, you can view many varieties of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, with growth spanning nearly a quarter century — and then you can purchase plants there, too.

Many furry and feathered creatures call the park home. Early morning visitors that arrive at Ecology Park are able to greet and observe the many bird species that either live in or pass through our little sanctuary.

Many native and wild plants make beautiful additions to your garden and are also an important part of local ecosystems, providing habitat for wildlife and pollinators like Monarch Butterflies, as seen here at GreenUP Ecology Park. The Ecology Park Garden Market features over 150 species of native and edible plants, shrubs, and trees to select from. (Photo: Samantha Stephens)
Many native and wild plants make beautiful additions to your garden and are also an important part of local ecosystems, providing habitat for wildlife and pollinators like Monarch Butterflies, as seen here at GreenUP Ecology Park. The Ecology Park Garden Market features over 150 species of native and edible plants, shrubs, and trees to select from. (Photo: Samantha Stephens)

Chipmunks, squirrels, bats, foxes, raccoon, toads, frogs, turtles, beaver, muskrat, and even the occasional weasel can be found within the park, especially during quieter times of the day.

Many species at risk can also be found at the park. Over the past several years, the Little Brown Bat, Monarch Butterfly, and the Wood-poppy plant have been found within Ecology Park.

These observations suggest that the park is an important corridor for migrant and local species.

A child matches pollinators with their host plants at the GreenUp Ecology Park Children’s Garden. The Children’s Garden is full of fun activities for kids to learn about nature; the famous play log, willow tunnel, and cedar maze, are always open for play time. (Photo: Karen Halley / GreenUP)
A child matches pollinators with their host plants at the GreenUp Ecology Park Children’s Garden. The Children’s Garden is full of fun activities for kids to learn about nature; the famous play log, willow tunnel, and cedar maze, are always open for play time. (Photo: Karen Halley / GreenUP)

The Peterborough community is well known for its willingness to get involved. For those looking to expand a garden or to start one from scratch, the GreenUP Ecology Park has you covered. We offer a large, and local, selection of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.

Additionally, we have cedar mulch, wood chips, and your own City of Peterborough ‘black gold’ compost for sale. Take a stroll through our gardens for ideas and examples of how to use native plants for a variety of different gardening styles.

Starting June 28th, our friends The Peterborough Master Gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions. Visit them on Thursdays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. for the next six weeks to ask all your gardening questions such as: Which plant goes where? How do I properly prune a tree? Can you help me identify this species? These experts will be there for all your gardening needs.

GreenUP Ecology Park connects to the 24,000-kilometre Trans-Canada Trail system. You can get there on foot, by bicycle, or by taking public transit. If you choose to drive, parking is available in the Beavermead parking lot. (Photo: Jeannine Taylor / kawarthaNOW.com)
GreenUP Ecology Park connects to the 24,000-kilometre Trans-Canada Trail system. You can get there on foot, by bicycle, or by taking public transit. If you choose to drive, parking is available in the Beavermead parking lot. (Photo: Jeannine Taylor / kawarthaNOW.com)

The GreenUP Ecology Park is not just for those with green thumbs. If gardening is not your thing, perhaps a stroll or run along our trails is more your speed. The park connects to the 24,000-kilometre Trans-Canada Trail system.

If you are looking to relax and read a book, the gazebo near the pond might just be your destination. Maybe you need a place to let the little ones burn off some energy, or to spend some quality time with their grandparents?

Our children’s play area contains a willow tunnel, cedar maze, and the famous play log. Bring a picnic basket, enjoy a meal under the shade of a tree, or just “Zen” out while listening to the leaves blow in the wind.

Kids visiting Ecology Park can enjoy the willow tunnel, the cedar maze, and the famous play log. (Photo: GreenUP)
Kids visiting Ecology Park can enjoy the willow tunnel, the cedar maze, and the famous play log. (Photo: GreenUP)

GreenUP Ecology Park is a four-season destination worthy of a place on your 2018 summer bucket list. The park is open to the public 365 days a year. Market hours are Thursdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about Ecology Park, the Garden Market, workshops, and more, visit www.greenup.on.ca/ecology-park/.

Walk, bike, bus or drive on down (parking available in Beavermead parking lot) and check out what 25 years of environmental stewardship and community involvement looks like. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

One of the beautiful natural vistas you will experience when entering GreenUP Ecology Park. (Photo: Bruce Head / kawarthaNOW.com)
One of the beautiful natural vistas you will experience when entering GreenUP Ecology Park. (Photo: Bruce Head / kawarthaNOW.com)
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GreenUP
For more than 20 years, GreenUP has been central and eastern Ontario's leading organization focused on issues of environmental education, sustainability, and stewardship. GreenUP is a non-profit charity and an active community organization that offers dozens of programs and services to those living in the Peterborough & Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. GreenUP's programs focus on facilitating positive action and provide the tools to make small changes in the home or cottage that can create a large and lasting impact on our environment. You can follow GreenUP on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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