The Caretakers Circle

In these uncertain times it is hard to know how to care for place and people at the same time. When COVID-19 shut down Five Oaks Centre mid-March 2020, volunteers were asked to maintain their social distancing and to stay home for the time being. Some of you listened and stayed home and we appreciate it, others more determined continued to volunteer and we appreciate that too.

As Ontario moves into Phase III on Friday July 17, we are able to begin to re-open the centre to both programs, hosted groups and our beloved volunteers. We are taking this opportunity to create The Caretakers Circle, inspired by the work of many over the years. It is a simple concept that works with social distancing during this time. You are invited to select, with 2-3 others an area of the property that you will pour your passion, time and talent into. This Summer, a small group of volunteers focussed on the Labyrinth and lower flats and transformed the space. You are welcome to come when it works for you by simply checking in with our staff team a few days before.

Since 2017, the gardens and grounds have been primarily tended to by small groups of volunteers. This Spring, as many of you stayed away as requested, some of the property has become overgrown. We hope you will join The Caretakers Circle and select one of the Opportunities listed to tend to 1-2 time per month for the next year.

As you labour, we hope that you will come to the board and staff with ideas and that perhaps we can transform our beloved grounds. There will be opportunity for year-round care in many of the areas.

Thanks so much for considering our request!

In Peace,
Michael Shewburg
Executive Director Five Oaks Centre


  • Main Building Front and Side Gardens
  • New Hall Patio and Fountain
  • Hillside Gardens and Walkway
  • Roadway, Rock walls and Ditch Tending
  • Retreat House Gardens
  • Dining Hall Deep Cleaning
  • Fire Pit Spaces – Sacred, Secret, Riverside and Friendship