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Published on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

1,500 trees & shrubs added in Nautical Park

Many Oakville community groups team up to grow Town tree canopy

1,500 trees & shrubs added in Nautical Park
- Nikki Wesley/Metroland Media
Anishinaabe knowledge guide Stephen Paquette speaks about the healing power of trees during the Ceremonial Tree Planting Event hosted by Oakville Community Foundation, CN EcoConnexions, Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom at Nautical Park on Wednesday morning
By David Lea, Oakville Beaver

Some of the damage done to Oakville’s tree canopy by the emerald ash borer (EAB) was repaired Wednesday (Sept. 27) with a tree planting project that will ultimately see 1,500 trees and shrubs planted at Oakville’s Nautical Park.

The Oakville Community Foundation, CN EcoConnexions, Tree Canada, the Town of Oakville, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association, the federal government and Communities in Bloom all had a hand in making the project possible, whether through funding, planning, site preparation or other essential work.

The planting was part of the town’s Woodland Regeneration-Emerald Ash Borer Hazard Abatement Program.

“Oakville’s urban forest provides incredible environmental, economic and health benefits to our community, which is why council has made growing Oakville’s urban forest a key part of our Livable Oakville vision,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“Today’s event will help the town in its efforts to recover from the devastating effects of the emerald ash borer and the damage it has done to our much vaunted and greatly valued tree canopy.”

Burton noted the trees planted at Nautical Park would add to the more than 25,000 trees the town and its community partners have planted in Oakville’s woodlands this year.

He singled out Oakvillegreen for planting 4,000 trees a year by itself.

Those present also heard from Paul Deegan, CN vice-president of public and government relations.

He noted CN EcoConnexions, a program that has seen CN plant more than one million tree across North America since 2012, contributed $25,000 to the Nautical Park project.

Oakville MP John Oliver’s director of operations, Fiona Fraser, also spoke during the event.

The federal government provided funding to the project through its Canada 150 fund.

“We are here today to celebrate Oakville’s dedication to environmental sustainability,” said Fraser.

“The planting of trees is a great way to commemorate the history and growth of Canada and Canadians. As you take a drive up Bronte Road you will see the road bends around a great big giant white oak, a tree with a history of approximately 250 years. This tree has witnessed the birth of our nation, the expansion of our beautiful town and the determination of our community to maintain its green canopy.”

Fraser noted that just as the Bronte White Oak has become a symbol for Oakville, so would three special trees planted in Nautical Park become symbols, with a sugar maple planted to represent Canada, a white pine planted to represent Ontario, and a white cedar planted to represent Canada’s First Nations.

“Together, these trees will grow and stand as a reflection of a community and of a nation that recognizes the significance that maintaining our environment and respecting our heritage has on our quality of life,” said Fraser.

Local First Nations elder Stephen Paquette spoke of the significance of the three chosen trees, noting that the First Nations used them in ceremony and for healing.

For this reason, he said that to him these trees represented healing and acknowledged the work being done in Oakville towards truth and reconciliation.

Community volunteers played a great role in planting the trees Wednesday and are being sought for another planting at the same site, to take place Saturday (Sept. 30) from 10 a.m. to noon.

The tree planting is a family-friendly event and all are welcome.

Nautical Park is located at 355 Nautical Blvd.

Anyone interested in planting trees is asked to contact Oakvillegreen at 289-813-1568 or register at www.oakvillegreen.org.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

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