About Mini Forest in Hamilton Project

Since 2021, we have successfully planted 12 mini forests at ten sites across private and public greenspaces in Hamilton through our Mini Forest in Hamilton and Mini Forest at Home projects. Growing mini forests will help sequester carbon faster, as trees that grow tall quickly absorb more carbon dioxide than trees that grow slowly. Mini forests also help manage stormwater and improve the air quality of the locale where they are planted.

The Miyawaki method, a novel approach to afforestation developed in other continents and forest types, lacks research on its application and ecological outcomes in southern Ontario, Canada. Green Venture, in collaboration with partners like the Vineland Research and Innovative Centre, the City of Hamilton Forestry Section, and Green Communities Canada, aims to address this gap through a project focused on mini forest plantings in Hamilton. The research involves field studies on environmental outcomes, including tree growth rates, seedling survivorship, soil structure, and soil microorganisms. Additionally, surveys and interviews will explore residents’ perceptions of mini forests, considering social factors that may influence the method’s adoption. The findings are expected to contribute to the City of Hamilton’s community climate change and tree planting goals, while also providing valuable insights for local and national tree planting initiatives and offering improved monitoring protocols and research-based guidelines for more successful ecological and social outcomes in mini forest plantings.

Picture of the planting
Picture of trees and shrubs planted
Mini forest planting

About Mini Forest at Home Program

Green Venture made it easier for community members to participate in growing Mini Forests at HomeIn 2022, we launched the Mini Forest at Home Program and provided residents and schools with the opportunity to grow their own mini forests through our Mini Forest Kits.  Over the last couple of months, 216 native trees and shrubs were planted across six properties in Dundas, Ontario. Check out some of the mini forest kits installed!
Mini Forest at Home Planting
Mini Forest at Home Planting
Mini Forest at Home Planting

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 four layers: canopy, sub-canopy, small understory trees, and shrubs. This is a new technique for Hamilton, but it has been successful in Zaanstad, Netherlands, 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.

Check out the six common steps on how to plant your mini forest using the Miyawaki Method.

Text saying "6 steps to the Miyawaki Method" with the list of steps

We are always looking for new sites to plant a mini forest whether it’s on school grounds, parks, or publicly accessible sites!

What is an ideal mini forest site?

  • Located on public land or publicly accessible land.
  • Must have a minimum space to fit a 100 m2 (10 x 10) plot to plant 300 native trees and shrubs.
  • Access to hose bibbs/tap and commitment from the host for watering and maintaining the mini forest for ~3 years.
  • In a highly visible location to maximize the impact on the community.

Contact us at trees@greenventure.ca if you have a site in mind!

If you don’t have a site in mind and just want to help volunteer at one of our community planting events, head over to our Volunteer Opportunities page for upcoming planting events.

Additional Resources

The Hamilton Mini Forest Project’s work is funded through the Hamilton Community Foundation and Dougher Foundation of the Hamilton Community Foundation, with the support of the Conserver Society of Hamilton and District.