SDG – On Dec. 18, SDG County Council approved the naming and sign design for seven forest properties across the counties. In August, a working group was formed to select names for County Forest properties that have potential for public recreation. Committee members included experts in tourism, economic development, conservation authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

“The working group decided that names would be based on important features such as history (historical figures, how the property was acquired, or First Nation’s values), unique environmental features and location,” explained the Dec. 18 meeting package.

The document continues, “Staff completed site visits for several of the properties. Access and presence of trails were confirmed for all properties. One property was removed from the list as it did not have good public access. Another property was deferred into 2018 as a suitable name was not determined.

“To finalize the names, staff conducted extensive research through local volunteers and historical plaques. Staff also contacted local municipalities to discuss the proposed signage and locations. Additionally, staff consulted with a First Nation’s representative, the local snowmobile club president, targeted residents, hunters and a local historical society. Although this extensive consultation assisted the working group in selecting names, the committee recognizes that they have not captured all users of these properties.

Staff anticipate that future conversations with these, and other groups, will be initiated once the signs are installed and will help inform future naming initiatives.

“Three sign designs were brought forward to the working group for consideration; the designs were based on the traditional SDG perimeter signage with slight modification for a more natural look (designs were provided by a local graphic artist). The group selected a colourful sign which incorporated a leaf bearing the SDG corporate colours.”

The approved and selected names are as follows, Alvin Runnalls Forest in North Dundas via Country Rd. 7, Greenfield Forst in North Glengarry via County Rd. 30, Red Town Forest in North Stormont via Red Town Road, Riverside-Whitney Forest in South Dundas via Riverside Drive, Sandfield MacDonald Forest in South Glengarry via Chapel and Beaverbrook, Frog Hollow Forest in South Glengarry via Frog Hollow and Whipperwill Forest in South Stormont via Whipperwill Lane.

“Alvin Runnalls – Forest Alvin Runnalls (1939-2016) was a former Mayor of North Dundas and SDG County Councillor and Warden. He was an avid farmer but was also very dedicated to environmental issues. Alvin volunteered with numerous organizations in the area and sat on the Board of Director’s for South Nation Conservation.

The forest, part of the Morewood Bog, is located close to his family farm, Runnalong Farm. This is the only county forest property in North Dundas. His name was put forward for consideration by a local forester. The Committee unanimously accepted the proposal. His wife Dawn and their daughters Rachel and Gretchen were very pleased to know Alvin was proposed to be honoured in this way.

“Greenfield Forest – This forest is close to the hamlet of Greenfield in North Glengarry. The name recognizes the importance to the local community and provides an easy geographic reference for visitors.

“Red Town Forest – This forest is located on Red Town Road. The name provides an easy geographic reference for people.

“Riverside-Whitney Forest – The forest is located on Riverside Drive and has been referred to as the Riverside forest by staff and other forest users. Through Committee input and research, staff also identified a significant historical feature – the memorial to Sir James Whitney. Whitney was a Premier of Ontario and was born and raised in South Dundas.

“Sandfield MacDonald Forest – This forest is sometimes referred to as the Charlottenburgh Forest; however, there is another ‘Charlottenburgh Forest’ owned by the Township of South Glengarry to the South. This forest has several important environmental features, but none were found suitable for a name. The Committee noted that Sir John Sandfield MacDonald (the first Premier of Ontario) was born and raised just down the County Road near St. Raphael’s; a historical plaque can be seen from the road just a few minutes east. The Committee felt this name would appropriately recognize an important historical figure from the area.

“Frog Hollow Forest – The forest is accessed from Frog Hollow Road. The Committee liked the unique name that both recognizes the local community and provides a good reference for location.

“Whipperwill Forest – This forest has been informally referred to as the Whipperwill Forest by staff at the County and Conservation Authority. This name was brought forward to the Committee as it is unique, recognizes the location and community, and provides a good geographic reference for the public.”