Check out our beautiful demonstration site from above!
Falls Brook Centre is in the process of adding a number of sustainability-focused elements to our demonstration site in Glassville, New Brunswick. Scroll down to learn more or select one of the links below.
|Lodge||Bunkie||Barn||Camping Sites/Tiny Homes|
|Composting Toilets||Phytoremedation||Tree and Perennial Nursery||Outdoor Classroom|
|Swale Garden||Restoration Orchard||Event Space||Welcome Gardens|
Falls Brook Centre’s office is located in a beautiful lodge. Although the structure served as a family home since the 1960s, it was converted to a multi-functional office and living space in 2013. The main level houses our kitchen facilities, a conference space, a meeting room, and offices. Our main office space, as well as a bedroom with en-suite bathroom are on the second level. In the basement, there is a workshop area, renewable energy infrastructure, and cold storage. We are currently in the process of retrofitting the entire building to be more energy efficient!
This small structure previously served as a greenhouse and bunk house. Although the building was once tied into the electrical system, it is currently off grid. Plans are afoot to develop the bunkie into a small-scale demonstration of non-traditional renovations and building techniques. This will be our first tiny home!
The barn, once home to horses, cattle, and llamas, is now a teaching and convention space. It is used by classes and groups visiting the site and is our musical venue for our Annual Free School. More importantly, the barn is home to a rare species – each year a number of barn swallows makes it their home. We are proud that we can help contribute to the preservation of this declining species by maintaining a sanctuary for them.
Camping Sites / Tiny Homes
We have a number of campsites available in the field and restoration orchard. As our property assets develop, we look forward to hosting visitors for multi-day stays on our raised platform camping sites (Shiktehawk lean-tos) as well as in tiny homes. For more information about our camping facilities, please contact us.
Falls Brook Centre hosts hundreds of visitors each year. To meet the demand on our septic system, Zero-Waste Composting Toilets were built by the EnerGreen Builders Co-operative with help from our neighbour, John Bell. These luxurious composting toilets are constructed with sustainably harvested wood and local craftsmanship, to allow our waste to decompose safely while meeting provincial health standards and exceeding building code regulations. This is our first fully off-grid building.
Over the summer of 2014, Biodiversity and Wetland Assistants researched and designed a phytoremediation project to treat grey water drainage from our Zero Waste composting toilet system. Specific species were planted to employ natural filtration properties. Baseline soil testing was carried out and ongoing monitoring will continue to verify the project’s effectiveness.
Tree and Perennial Nursery
Our tree and perennial nursery will act as a protected space in which to grow native and naturalized trees and plants for our restoration orchard project. Raised beds, constructed from local wood, hold saplings until they are ready to be planted on the land and will allow us to grow native plants from seed or cutting. You can purchase one of our raised bed gardens for your own outdoor project!
At FBC, we understand many of the modern challenges faced by students. With the amount of screen-time increasing, we offer an outdoor alternative to the indoor classroom environment. When learning outside, students have demonstrate a positive attitude towards learning, along with increased attendance and test scores. This innovative method of teaching has just as many benefits for teachers, giving them a creative way to get the relevant information to their students in a new and exciting way. Our staff offer on-site demonstrations and opportunities to bring your classroom to life!
The Edible Trail will be planted with food-bearing perennial trees and shrubs so that hikers have access to healthy, locally grown foods as they wander the trail system. The existing native edible species will be complimented by a diversity of native and domesticated edible fruits, nuts, and berries such as raspberries, currants, highbush cranberries, pear, apple, and hazelnut.
Trails allow guests to wander through our varied landscapes; through the pine plantation, around the wetland, across the field and back to the stream. We continue to create and improve our trails each year. Guests can take a self-guided tour, join a group tour during one of our events, and even search for geocaches hidden throughout our site.
A berm is a small, flat strip of land bordering a body of water such as a stream, ditch, or canal. Berms are often the result of digging a swale, thus, berms will be featured in various locations on the landscape bordering our swales. In the wetland, a berm forms the catchment area for our ponds and in the gardens, raised berms form our garden beds.
A swale is a ditch or depression built on the contour of a landscape. The shale-dominant geology of the land in this area allows water to flow easily through rock layers and to surface as springs. Our swales will be designed to divert water away from buildings, where it can damage infrastructure, and onto the landscape, where it can recharge our wetland and groundwater system.
The swale garden was designed and created in 2015 as a permaculture demonstration garden. The swale was dug in a serpentine pattern, allowing rain runoff from the barn roof to be collected and diverted to help naturally irrigate the garden crops. The garden beds were built using a lasagna garden technique, whereby cardboard, straw, and manure are layered to form a nutrient-rich, raised berm. The berms will be planted with a diversity of annual and perennial crops as future stages of this project are completed.
The first phase of the restoration orchard began in 2015. The upper northern edge of the south-facing slope had once been the site of a barn and held artifacts from the building’s foundation as well as metal, charred wood, and glass. With machine- and human-power, raised garden beds were created and planted as permaculture-inspired tree guilds. Each guild features a dominant tree species, such as oak, mountain ash, pear, or cherry, along with that tree’s supporting species, including berry bushes, fruit bearing vines, herbaceous annuals and perennials, ground covers, and bulbs. The restoration orchard will not only provide food for people, it will work to restore the soil and provide habitat and food for wildlife.
The event space at FBC uses the infrastructure on-hand to facilitate moments of magic. During our Annual Free School, the barn is transformed into a music venue – overlooking a field of friends and fans. Straw bales with blankets make comfy seats, and the encroaching meadow encloses the space. At other times, the event space might serve as an education centre or a workshop site. The possibilities are endless!
Guests will be welcomed to the property by ornamental perennial flowers and shrubs along the driveway and walkways. Ornamental plants will be selected for their aesthetic beauty as well as for their ecosystem benefits such as attracting pollinators, providing habitat and food for migratory and domestic species, providing shade, and water and nutrient sequestration. We hope our guests will stop and smell the roses, lilies and peonies.
The Acadian Forest Region is a temperate broadleaf and mixed forest ecoregion. It is characterised by 32 native tree species and varied geomorphology including the hills, mountains, and plateaus of New England in the northeast United States, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces of eastern Canada. After many years of over-harvesting by previous landowners, we are actively preserving and restoring the Acadian forest on our 98 acre property.
In early September of 2014, Ducks Unlimited Canada restored the provincially designated wetland on our Glassville property. The wetlands are 2.5-3 acres in size and provide a unique experiential learning feature for visitors, as well as the hundreds of school children who participate in Project Webfoot at FBC each year, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada.