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Lions mark 100 years with tree-planting blitz

The Lions Club of Elmira is taking part in a national project to celebrate the organization’s centennial anniversary. Lions John Ziegler (left) and Norm Bader work together last week to plant trees along the Kissing Bridge Trail. [Aneta Rebiszewski]

For 100 years, Lions Club chapters have been helping support their local communities. To mark the centennial celebration, various clubs will join together to plant 100,000 trees across Canada.

Doing their part for the anniversary, the members of the Elmira Lions Club will be planting 100 trees along the Kissing Bridge Trail. Club director Art Woods said there is plenty of local interest in the initiative, as Woolwich groups have long advocated tree planting both to beautify the area and to provide a boost to the environment.

“Lions are very good at grabbing a hold of something like this and making it happen,” said Woods.

Being a part of the biggest service organization is only one reason to celebrate, Woods says, adding that the years Lions have spent making their communities better places to live makes this a milestone of which to be proud.

“There hasn’t been any major service clubs started in the past 100 years, so I think the average Lion feels good to be a part of this community service organization.”

The tree planting along the trail started last week and will continue until June 30, 2021. The project will span over the next two years as the Lions plant trees across their communities. The Elmira club has already planted 3,152 trees in the memorial forest located in Breslau, along with some 600 trees in town.

Planting trees is certainly a motherhood issue in that it receives universal support, Woods noting, adding that many people continue to try to help out the environment. That’s something the club will put its efforts into.

The club’s goal fits perfecting with the Trees for Woolwich initiative that promotes tree planting in the township, which includes greatly expanding the tree cover in Elmira.

The Elmira Lions Club formed in 1955, and has been contributing to the community ever since. From helping with likes of sports parks, Lions Hall, and the memorial forest, the club has always been happy to take part in community projects, Woods said.

“We enjoy doing things for the community that perhaps the government wouldn’t be able to do or have the means to do,” he added.

With so much to celebrate, the Lions are grateful for each other, says Woods, noting all the members deserve to be recognized for the work they do.

“If we didn’t have a good club, we wouldn’t be able to do the things we do,” Woods said of his fellow Lions.

The tree planting will begin primarily on the trailway and may span to other areas in Elmira, with Woods saying the club is looking into getting approval to plant some trees behind the subdivision going in on the west side of town.

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