Video by St. Williams Nursery with special thanks to Beairsto Aerophoto for drone videography and editing support.
Who we are
At St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre, we’re a dedicated wholesale conservation nursery and ecological restoration provider in Ontario. Our team of restoration scientists and practitioners, nursery growers, and technical experts support and supply a wide variety of conservation initiatives.
We see a future where the health of our economies, cultures, and natural environments co-exist in a sustainable and mutually beneficial way. People and nature thriving together has been and will always be a big inspiration for our business. As a result, we’re always interested in working with more conservation-minded partners to achieve a sustainable supply of appropriate native plants and seed to protect Ontario’s natural biodiversity.
We now operate the largest native plant nursery in Ontario, which is located on the site of Canada’s first forestry station and tree seedling nursery established in 1908. In everything we do, we aim to:
- Provide quality, ecologically appropriate native plants to support biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration
- Lead by example as a science-based consultancy and supplier to ensure products & services will safeguard healthy ecosystems
- Create sustainable, economic opportunities with our partners to advance Ontario’s native plant industry for biodiversity conservation
- Educate the public about the beauty, utility, and importance of indigenous plants and natural systems for conserving a healthy planet
- Lead in the conservation of natural systems by allocating a portion of our profits to support ecological restoration and conservation projects
What we do
We operate primarily as a wholesale native plant nursery for conservation work and we offer professional ecological restoration services:
- At our nursery, we produce a wide variety of Ontario native wild type plants in stock formats including bareroot, container stock, and as seed mixes. We grow plants from seed that our team of ecologists and seed specialists sustainably collect and manage at scale. Seed is sourced-identified from wild plant populations around the province.
- Our services range from project management and implementation, custom seed collecting, contract growing, monitoring, and maintenance to support ecological restoration and biodiversity conservation projects. To meet increasing demand, we also work with our partners and clients to custom collect and propagate species for specific biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration projects.
We’re committed to using ethical and sustainable methods to protect and conserve the biodiversity, especially for vulnerable or sensitive populations. We adhere to the Native Plants Guidelines for Commercial Native Plant Growers of the North American Native Plant Society and follow the Society of Ecological Restoration guidelines for wild seed collection.
Plants are sustainably scaled up on site at our nursery and are guaranteed to be neonic free as part of our commitment to healthy ecosystems and beneficial insects.
About our nursery
Our nursery is based in St. Williams in Norfolk County, which is in the heart of southwestern Ontario’s Carolinian Life Zone. Our nursery facilities include some 6 acres of modern greenhouses and more than 250 acres of irrigated production fields.
We also operate a modern seed cleaning and processing plant as well as seed lab facilities for testing seed viability and quality inhouse. We've invested millions of dollars to develop our extensive fleet of specialized planting, harvesting and processing equipment necessary to produce significant quantities of high quality native plants and seeds.