What’s the best thing you can be doing on National Tree Day? That’s easy; planting trees.
And that is exactly what was going on Sept. 25 beside the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex in Guysborough as representatives from Antigonish’s Highland Home Building Centre, the Guysborough and Area Garden Club, and Tree Canada came together, aided by numerous students from Chedabucto Education Centre/Guysborough Academy and with plenty of support from the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, to plant 40 edible trees and shrubs.
The charge was led by Boylston resident Kate Redfern who wears two hats in the partnership as an employee of Highland Home Building Centre and secretary with the garden club.
“Being employed at Highland, I learned about the partnership with Tree Canada and brought it up to the club and, of course, they were on board,” Redfern said in a brief speech prior to the planting.
“We approached the municipality and they generously offered us this space here at the Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex to plant. It is thanks to this partnership between Home Hardware, Tree Canada and the municipality that our club is able to plant its very first community orchard with 40 trees.”
Speaking on behalf of the municipality was Deputy Warden Sheila Pelly.
“Trees provide us with countless benefits such as clean air and wildlife habitat; they naturally cool our communities and fight climate change. They help improve human health and, in this case, they will also provide free access to an abundance of healthy food for our residents and visitors to the CLC,” Pelly said, among her words, to those gathered.
“On behalf of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough I want to thank everyone who was involved in the planning of this wonderful, selfless initiative; the fruits of your labour will benefit our communities for years to come,” she added, pun intended.
Mary Desmond, co-chair of the Guysborough Community Health Board, also addressed the group.
“I’m so pleased and proud to see the Guysborough and Area Garden Club has taken this initiative, along with Home Hardware, and has realized the significant role that fruit trees can play in the combat of food security and poverty,” Desmond said to conclude her words.
Representing Tree Canada was community advisor for Nova Scotia Bruce Carter.
He noted the benefits of the day were two-fold.
“It’s nice to see the kids really planting, getting involved, and, of course, the other factor is it’s nice for the community,” Carter said.
He talked more about Tree Canada’s partnership with Home Hardware, noting it started in 1992.
“Home Hardware has contributed more than $1 million since 1992, planted more 26,000 trees across the country, so it’s a very valid and valuable partnership with us,” he said.
As the work started bustling around her, Redfern said it’s exciting to see the trees going into the ground.
“I’m pleased with how the weather turned out for this moment,” she said with a chuckle, a reference to the fact that a steady rain persisted throughout the speeches to start the event, but was now clearing off.
“We have kids here to help dig some trees in; we had a class before this as well who helped plant a bunch of the hazelnut trees.”
Redfern said the location is one they can, possibly, add to in the future.
“Maybe bring in some smaller shrubs,” she said. “It’s going to be a work in progress but you can see some of the trees are already bearing fruit, so it should be ready to be used by next year.”