4 staff members planting trees

Reforestation at Balsam Lake: round “brew”

Last year, we collaborated with our friends at Collective Arts Brewing to brew up a tasty ecological reforestation project for Balsam Lake Provincial Park.

Thanks to your unwavering support, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re back with Collective Arts to debut their newest brew: Trail Loop Honey Lager!

Keep reading to learn how Ontario Parks and Collective Arts are getting craft(brew)y this summer.

We made big strides last year, but our work isn’t over yet!

At Ontario Parks, we are committed to building resilience into the wild spaces we love. Our friends at Collective Arts share this philosophy.

Together, we’re entering our second year tackling a forest restoration project at Balsam Lake!

Like many provincial parks in Southern Ontario, Balsam Lake’s forests have been impacted by the recent arrival of Emerald Ash Borer.

Emerald Ash Borer tracks
A park ecologist shows the damage Emerald Ash Borer causes to our ash trees

Since its first detection in the Greater Toronto Area in 2007, this invasive species has killed millions of ash trees in Ontario, threatening natural habitats and forest health.

Working with the team at Collective Arts, we’ve started a reforestation project at Balsam Lake to restore this beautiful park and its important ecosystem.

group of staff and volunteers with shovels and baby trees

But our battle against invasive species at Balsam Lake isn’t over yet!

To continue helping this forest heal and build resilience, we’ll be:

  • Park staff holds baby tree and shovelremoving additional invasive species, such as Scot’s Pine and Buckthorn, which are damaging the ecosystem’s overall health by competing with native species for growing space and nutrients
  • inoculating healthy Black Ash trees to protect them against the Emerald Ash Borer
  • planting more native tree species, such as White Birch, White Cedar, and White Spruce, to fill in the gaps left by ash trees killed by Emerald Ash Borer

By the end of this project, we’re aiming to have planted up to 1,000 trees at Balsam Lake Provincial Park.

How does a new brew contribute to reforestation?

Big problems can be solved through creativity and community. It’s no coincidence that Collective Arts was founded on those principles.

Their new lager, Trail Loop, will continue to fund this critical forest restoration work. Proceeds from every can sold will be donated to the Balsam Lake project.

Inspired by the natural beauty of Ontario’s provincial parks, Trail Loop uses locally sourced honey and hops. The sweet, smooth lager is perfect for sipping on your patio, balcony, or sofa.

Toronto artist Gosia Komorski has a personal connection to Balsam Lake, compelling her to create art featuring local species like the Northern Leopard Frog and the stylized Round-headed Bushclover on last year’s design.

can on tree

She has returned to lend her talent to Trail Loop, adorning the can with trilliums, thistle, bees, and other stunning native plants found in our beautiful province. 

Let’s raise up a cold one for our forests this summer!

Trail Loop will be featured in The Beer Store and select grocery stores across the province, at the Collective Arts breweries (Hamilton and downtown Toronto), and through Collective Arts’ website.

Every purchase helps our park!

people with shovels, digging holes and planting small seedlings
Staff from Balsam Lake teaming up with Collective Arts to plant new trees!

We can’t think of an easier way to support the health and resilience of our wild spaces than picking up a refreshing beverage from a local brewery. And we’re thrilled to be part of a creative local partnership taking an important step to create a ecologically sustainable and healthy future for our parks.

Staff smiles while planting seedlingRemember: humans aren’t separate from nature; we are part of our world’s wildness.

While we have contributed to many of the current challenges facing our natural spaces, we can also act as ecostewards, helping our parks and other natural spaces thrive for years to come!

Learn about the steps you can take when you visit parks and in your own garden to stop the spread of invasive species!

Looking to hit the trail in style?

Collective Arts has created a ball cap and Nalgene bottle based on Trail Loop’s design.

50% of the proceeds from both the hat and Nalgene bottle will donated Balsam Lake’s reforestation efforts!

While Trail Loop is available at locations throughout the province, this merch is available for purchase exclusively on the Collective Arts’ site!

logo for Collective Arts. Double-lined letter C with a star and the word "creativity"Sincere thanks to our partner. Collective Arts is a craft brewing and distilling company with facilities in Hamilton and Toronto. Collective Arts is committed to ensuring that its products are as diverse and creative as the artists profiled through the packaging and promotion of these beverages.

Friendly (but important) reminder: if you plan to bring Trail Loop into a provincial park, keep in mind that alcohol is not permitted on trails, beaches, or anywhere other than your registered campsite.