Homegrown saplings help Trees for Woolwich with township-wide greening
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
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Homegrown saplings help Trees for Woolwich with township-wide greening effort

[From File]

Trees for Woolwich is a few hundred plants closer to their goal of enriching the township with 23,000 trees, but this year, they planted their own seedlings.

After starting its own nursery in 2013, the organization officially “graduated” around 300 trees this year for planting in different places around the township. In their most recent planting adventure, volunteers put 69 pine, six silver maple and one locust into the ground near Hopewell Creek.

Inga Rinne of Trees for Woolwich says the group feels a sense of satisfaction seeing their homegrown projects in the ground.

“I think that is the excitement in this. Every time you add a few to the numbers,” she said, adding that getting saplings strong enough to replant is a team effort. “We got the schools involved in the winter. We provide them with seeds and planting kits and they grow them into tiny little seedlings. We pick them up and stick them into the nursery. It is a nice joint effort. Eventually, they can see their very own trees spreading through the community. It is a feel-good thing for everyone.”

The group has already planted more than 15,000 trees and are well on their way to their goal of making Woolwich just a little bit greener, and this year, the team focused on planting where the new trees would benefit natural ecosystems.

“In this case, we were planting along Hopewell Creek and that was specifically to minimize erosion there,” said Rinne. “You’re also trying to shade the creek which decreases the water temperature and creates better fish habitats.”

Planting new trees is all finished for this year, but Rinne and Trees for Woolwich are already looking ahead to when the coming winter snow melts.

Kiwanis volunteers Walt Irisson, John Chapman and Jim Stewart set out in the rain and windy weather on the morning of Oct. 24 to plant trees in the grassy areas along Mockingbird Drive in Elmira. Here, they stand with one of the completed plantings. Inset: John Chapman, John Kendall and Walt Irrison spread some dirt to hold the newly planted tree in place.[Liz Bevan / The Observer]
Kiwanis volunteers Walt Irisson, John Chapman and Jim Stewart set out in the rain and windy weather on the morning of Oct. 24 to plant trees in the grassy areas along Mockingbird Drive in Elmira. Here, they stand with one of the completed plantings. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]
“We have winterized the nursery, so our next planting will be in the spring,” she said, mentioning that the group plants all the way into the autumn before it gets too cold. “A lot of people don’t think about planting in the fall, but it is actually a really good time to plant most species. They get kind of a head start. The big issue around here for new trees is water. If you plant in the spring then you get a dry summer … we have had to water some of our plantings, but in the fall, inevitably it is kind of rainy this time of year. They get well watered in and by next spring, you get a full season out of them.”

The group relies heavily on volunteer hours for their cause, and are always looking for more, says Rinne.

“It is very satisfying for people. We have a plant in the spring called the Church Challenge where we contact a bunch of churches and whole families will come out,” she said. “We are looking to have more of those community plants in the spring. If anyone wants to help, they are always welcome.”

For more information about Trees for Woolwich, or to inquire about volunteering, send an email to treesforwoolwich@gmail.com.

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