In 1969, Prof. Edward (Ted) Gittens and Dr. Verl Short, faculty members from the Nova Scotia Teachers College, looked for land to establish an Environmental Science Centre. They found their land in Manganese Mines on a site owned by Scott Paper.
The company leased the College the 600-acre block and construction of Gittens Lodge began in 1971. The Lodge was completed in 1973. All the lumber used in construction was supplied by Scott Paper. Most of the supplies and labour were donated by local companies and organizations.
Renovations and upgrades have been performed through the years drawing on resources from Scott Paper (now Neenah Paper ), the Department of Public Works and Transportation, the Nova Scotia Teachers College, the Nova Scotia Community College and the local community.
In 1993 an evaluation of the woodlands surrounding the Lodge was conducted and 23 ecological study sites were documented and mapped. In an average year, approximately 1500 children and 150 adults make use of Gittens Lodge and surrounding property.
Gittens Lodge is still administered and maintained by NSCC Truro Campus.