Large areas of wasteland were created in the light sandy soils of Whitchurch Township and elsewhere in southern Ontario. The mistake: to farm the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Realizing the problem, many municipalities like Whitchurch paid landowners 25 cents a tree to start reforesting roadsides and gullies. In 1910 the York County council passed a resolution to consider the problem, but not much was done until 1920. By 1924 an agreement was struck between the County of York and the Province of Ontario where the County would purchase land, and Provincial foresters would plant and manage the forest.