Picture of the planting

Mini forests are emerging across Hamilton. Green Venture, in partnership with Network of Nature, wants to make it easier for community members to participate in growing Mini Forests at Home
These past couple of months, the Dundas community have been prepping their sites for planting! Site preparation is important to ensure the mini forests thrive by adding compost and mulch to increase organic matter content and available nutrients over time.As the mulch and compost settles over the summer months, the next step is choosing native plant species to plant in your mini forests. Species selection can be based on soil type, light requirements, current plants found in the area, and so forth. Follow us on social media to view updates about the mini forests! 
site prep for mini forest
Before planting, we need to do site prep
Getting the soil ready for the mini forest
Getting the soil ready for the mini forest
site prep mini forest
Site prep for a mini forest in Dundas, ON

Mini Forest Frequently Asked Questions

This webpage will be updated frequently, so check back to find more information and resources. Have a question you don’t see below? Send your questions to trees@greenventure.ca and we can add them! 

Mini Forests (also known as tiny forests, micro forests or Miyawaki forests) are based on the Miyawaki reforestation method. Named after Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist who developed it, the Miyawaki method is known for its use of dense planting, diverse locally native species, soil preparation, and multilayered design to mimic the complexity of a native forest. Miyawaki Forests consist of 4-layers: canopy, sub-canopy, small understory trees, and shrubs. This is a new technique for Hamilton, but it has been successful in Zaanstad, Netherlands and Mumbai, India and other parts of the world for over 40 years. Read our blog about mini forests in Hamilton and learn more about the Miyawaki method

Adding Mini Forests in urban areas can add more greenery, mitigate stormwater runoff, increase biodiversity, improve air quality, and connect the community back to nature. And importantly, according to Shubhendu Sharma (whose TED talk made the Miyawaki Method famous), Miyawaki Forests result in trees providing these benefits much more quickly, with 10 times faster tree growth rates, and 30 times more CO2 capture.


Text saying "Benefits of Planting Miyawaki Forests" with infographics describing them.

Our Mini Forest at Home Program is now live and accepting applications for Spring 2023!

Those that qualify for the pilot program and are successful in our application process will receive a Mini Forest Kit including a maximum of 36 trees (selected by the Urban Forest Coordinator), compost and mulch and support for planning site prep and tree planting (Green Venture staff will provide resources and support including promotion and recruitment for volunteers where needed).

Apply here!

Program Requirements: 

  • Residents, businesses and schools within Dundas, ON*.
  • Suitable sites with planting space that meet site criteria (e.g. must have a minimum of 9 metres square for tree planting and access to water).
  • Must have or recruit a dedicated tree care team to help water, weed, and mulch for at least 3 years;
  • Before approval, property owner or site host representative is required to sign a terms and conditions contract to ensure all site prep is completed (e.g. locates, soil preparation, soil testing as needed);
  • Site hosts should be prepared to grow a mature forest in their yard, please do not apply if you cannot make this commitment;
  • In addition to committing to the planting and stewardship of the mini forests, you will agree to participate in Green Venture reporting objectives including tree monitoring, and sharing your projects via social media, blog posts, signage, etc;
  • If selected, you are required to participate in a site visit with our Urban Forest Coordinator.

*Please note: There is a limited number of kits available. Due to the funding requirements, only residential property/businesses/schools in Dundas, ON will be considered. If the property you’re applying for is not within Dundas, ON, we can keep your information on file for future consideration.

One-on-One Consultations

Eligible and successful participants will receive a follow-up from Green Venture staff to book an in-person consultation with our Urban Forest Coordinator to discuss their project more in depth. 

Access to Urban Forest Coordinator Feedback and Resources

After meeting with our team, you will confirm if your project will go ahead as planned. Green Venture staff will provide resources as needed regarding your project. You may contact our team including the Urban Forest Coordinator along the way.

Our team will let you know when check-in dates are approaching and remind you to take progress photos along the way. 

Green Venture staff will visit your site to verify your project and provide you with a complimentary lawn sign. At the end of the planting season, all eligible applicants can celebrate together by joining Green Venture at our Mini Forest at Morton Park, Dundas, where we planted 600 trees this past September, for our stewardship event!

If you are not eligible for the kits or unable to apply or commit to a mini forest we still encourage you to take a look at the resources and get involved with our tree care teams. To find trees near you that need care visit the Hamilton Stewardship Network website
Stay tuned for future tree-planting opportunities on our website, newsletter and social media!

Mini Forest Resources

The Hamilton Mini Forest Project’s work in Dundas (Mini Forest at Home Program) is funded through the Dougher Foundation of the Hamilton Community Foundation with the support of the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District.