News Release                           Monday, April 25, 2022

The Healing Path Begins this Year

Request for Quotes Issued to Build Phase 1 of Healing Path at the Owen Sound Hospital

The amazing volunteers of Neighborwoods North (NWN), who have spent hundreds of hours planting trees, lining the ER entrance with flowering crab apples, and planting a 125-foot Welcoming Garden on the Owen Sound Hospital property, are at it again. This time, they are starting the process to build Phase 1 of a 1.7 kilometer Healing Path around the hospital for families, patients, staff and the public to enjoy while at the hospital. The location of the path has been marked and NWN has just issued a Request for Quotes to find a contractor to build the path.   Read or download the RFP below.

“This is very exciting to be breaking ground for this project, and we are seeking a qualified company who is looking for more than just a contract,” said Lloyd Lewis, Chair of NWN. “This is an opportunity to give back to the community by building a path for patients, families and our healthcare workers to enjoy nature, fresh air and exercise in a park-like setting.”

The healing path is the next step in NWN’s 10-year plan, endorsed by the hospital corporation, to naturalize the 20-acre property surrounding Grey Bruce Health Services Owen Sound Hospital. The group started volunteering on the property in 2017.

The Owen Sound Hospital sees over 100,000 patient visits per year from across the Grey Bruce region, and employs approximately 1100 staff and physicians at that site.

NWN is thrilled to have the support from local doctors, Dr. Mulroy commented that "he was profoundly moved by a patient who was admitted to the hospital. She said: “my healing comes not from being in the hospital, but by being able to walk the hospital grounds.” Dr. Edwards stated "The Healing Path at the hospital will be uplifting for our patients, their visitors, our staff, and any interested members of our Owen Sound community."

NWN is paying for the path from donations, and their goal is to create a three-season accessible path in stages, as funds permit. NWN is a sub-committee of the Owen Sound Field Naturalists, a charitable organization. Donations for the path can be made at: (Owen Sound Field Naturalists - select NeighbourWoods North in the drop down menu)

The group hopes that future sections of the trail, to be built

closer to the hospital’s Rehabilitation Unit, may eventually

be used by patients as part of their rehab therapy.


The Request for Quotes closes on Thursday May 19, 2022

@4:00 pm. Questions about the process can be directed

to Gord Edwards 226-923-0605

Reclaiming Nature with Urban Forestry


From City of Owen Sound Website April 7, 2022

Owen Sound is recognized as a Tree City of the World, one of only 15 in Canada

The Arbor Day Foundation and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has recognized Owen Sound as a Tree City of the World.

The City of Owen Sound has achieved this status in recognition of its dedication to growing and maintaining the best urban forestry practices. 

The purpose of this program is to promote the benefits of trees in the urban built environment, provide direction and assistance for developing urban forestry and tree planting programs, and offers certification and international recognition for sustainable urban forestry practices.

To be certified, the City has met the program’s five core standards:

  • Establish Responsibility

  • Set the Rules

  • Know What You Have

  • Allocate Resources

  • Celebrate Achievements

Sustainability is a core value of the City’s Strategic Plan, with environment

as a key pillar with the goal of protecting, preserving, maintaining, and

enhancing Owen Sound’s natural heritage.

In 2021, seven Ontario Cities were successful in obtaining a Tree City of the World certification, including Cambridge, Guelph, Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Thunder Bay, Toronto, and York Region.

For more information on this certification and the City’s Forestry Management Program, visit

For more information, please contact Adam Parsons, Manager of Parks and Open Space at 519-376-4440 ext. 1221 or email to

Did You Know? In Owen Sound, You can request a tree be planted in front of your property, free!

OS Boulevard Tree Planting Program

Residents of Owen Sound can request a tree be planted in the boulevard in front of their property, at no cost. All requests are filled subject to species availability and suitability to the site. The City reserves the right to reject any requests if the tree location is unsuitable for any reason. One request per property each year will be considered.

If you would like to submit a request, please complete the Boulevard Tree Planting Request Form.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact the Parks & Cemetery Administrative Coordinator at 519-376-3203. 

And Matching Grants for

Non-residential Properties

Landscaping and Property Improvement Grant Program

Property owners and authorized tenants of existing commercial, industrial, mixed-use, and multi-unit residential properties can apply to the city of Owen Sound for matching grants through the Landscaping and Property Improvement Grant Program.  Although the program is limited to parts of Owen Sound, it does cover much of the city .   The River District, East Harbour Area, West Harbour Area, Gateway 1* and Gateway 2**  are considered priority areas and are eligible for enhanced incentives of up to $10,000.   Non-priority areas are eligible for grants up to $5000.    Eligible projects include professional landscaping, low impact development, tree planting,  improvements to & beautification of driveways, parking areas, and pedestrian pathways, permanent outdoor furniture, patios,  fencing, and plans & studies.

*Gateway 1 = 9th Avenue East from Superior Street to 16th Street East   **Gateway 2 = – 10th Street West from 1st Avenue West to 9th Avenue West

Whether it's our own gardens or the gardens and forests of the Owen  Sound Hospital, we're all eagerly anticipating being out digging in the dirt.  By this time last year we'd had some 20° days but we’d also been down to -15 in March oes not continue and we see spring days soon. . 2021 This March we’ve only been up to 13° and our average March temperature is 3° cooler at -1. Let’s hope this trend does not continue and we see warmer spring days soon.

Hospital Parking Lot Expansion

The Owen Sound Hospital continues its expansion of the main parking lot.  The project was not completed prior to winter weather descending upon our area.  As we have noted previously the expansion requires some alternative planning upon our part.  Part of the parking expansion by the Hospital includes a swale south of the lot and the planting of serviceberry trees.    The Steering Committee of NeighbourWoods North has determined that our best course of action at this time is to continue to communicate with the administration of the hospital about the parking lot project and wait for its completion before finalizing our plans for the Healing Path and adjascent greenery in that area.

Tree Branch in the Snow

Local Plant Sources

Need to know where to get local trees, shrubs, and other plants?  The very kind and organized people at the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Arboretum have done the research for you.  Just click below to get a list of Native Plant Source Nurseries.  You are free to download, print, copy, or save the list.