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$5 will get your $50 in Trees for Woolwich event to promote greening initiative

Woolwich Healthy Communities committee members Inga Rinne (left) and Nancy Stayzer demonstrate tree planting, plenty of which will be done at the upcoming community event in St. Jacobs. [veronica reiner / the observer]

A Woolwich environmental group with the lofty goal of increasing overall tree cover in Elmira to 30 per cent – almost double the current coverage – has a new program to help with that task.

Trees for Woolwich, which sees new plantings as beneficial on many fronts, not least of all climate-change mitigation, is offering homeowners a way to get involved directly. To that end, 70 vouchers funded by Elmira’s Toyota Boshoku, worth $50 towards the purchase of a native tree, will be given out, in exchange for a $5 donation to the charitable organization.

The vouchers can be redeemed at John’s Nursery in St. Jacobs and Grobe Nursery in Breslau.

It’s an easy, cost-effective way for everyone to go green in the comfort of their own backyard, says the chair of Trees for Woolwich.

“The people in both those nurseries are very knowledgeable,” explained Inga Rinne. “If you go and say ‘here’s my space’ and you know a little bit about what kind of soil you’re putting them in, [nursery staff] will give good advice on the best trees to put in that spot.

“It’s whatever suits your particular location. Some people have lots of room and can put up a big tree that’ll be a giant oak someday, and other people are on small lots and need a much more compact tree –  maybe a serviceberry.”

The vouchers will be up for grabs at an upcoming event taking place on National Tree Day (September 25) at  ValleyView Park in St. Jacobs. All are welcome to attend. Visitors will get the opportunity to plant trees, obtain a voucher, enjoy an assortment of wraps catered by Kitchen Kuttings, and meet the neighbours. It has a similar layout to the previous greening initiative event that took place May at Bolender Park in Elmira, added Rinne.

“We specifically saved some of the tree vouchers for the fall, because a lot of people don’t realize fall is a great time to plant things,” she noted.

Fall is a prime time to plant trees because they have the chance to get established and soak up the autumn rains before the stress of the drought-ridden summers. Any trees planted during this season have a higher chance of survival and will help Trees for Woolwich to get closer to its goal.

“The tree cover is at 16.4 per cent in Elmira right now. To say 16.4 per cent may be an overestimate at this point because these numbers were done based on 2016 air photos… and we have lost a huge number of ash trees due to the emerald ash borer,” explained Rinne.

Any vouchers not claimed at the planting event can be obtained, while they last, at the Woolwich Memorial Centre or the Eco Café in St Jacobs until October 12. In order to spread the joy around, vouchers will be limited to one per household.

The vouchers are redeemable until October 14. They will be handed out at the event at ValleyView Park across from 187 Water St. in St. Jacobs on September 25, 5-7 p.m.

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