There may be fewer trees than originally planned by the end of the year, as the coronavirus pandemic has halted planting events planned by a local group.
With COVID-19 in our lives for the foreseeable future, many big events across the province have been cancelled to limit the effects of spreading the virus. Locally, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival is just one of the many large-scale events drawing tens of thousands of people each year that had to be cancelled for the safety of the public.
Of course it’s not just the big events that had to be cancelled. In March, the Ontario government began mandating the size of groups which were allowed to congregate together, with the number eventually dwindling down to five. This, alongside the closure of all non-essential businesses and services has caused smaller things to be postponed or outright cancelled as well.
Trees for Woolwich, a community group aimed at expanding the tree coverage in the township, has hosted a number of events throughout planting seasons over the last eight years. However, this spring it looks like those events may not take place.
Planting events were planned throughout the area and students in local schools were given saplings to care for until such a time as they were ready to be potted. Classes on pruning were also being offered to help preserve the trees which already inhabit the area.
Inga Rinne, chair of Trees for Woolwich, said she is disappointed at the toll COVID-19 has taken as everything is on hold, but she is working to ensure the group can still continue their efforts during the pseudo lockdown and once things are able to return to a sense of normalcy.
The spring dates have been cancelled but in a fit of optimism we are going to set a date for planting at South Park on September 26 and Bloomingdale Park on October 3, said Rinne.
She notes these are the only community planting dates for the year as the Grand River Conservation Authority will not be giving seedlings to commercial nurseries. Because of this other plantings that would normally have taken place are not being rescheduled.
In addition to plantings this fall, the vouchers will still be available for 30 households that want to add some greenery to their homes. The vouchers worth $50 are being sold for $5 and are available by emailing your name and address to Ann Roberts, environmental coordinator with the township, at email@example.com.
More information on Trees for Woolwich events will be reported as it becomes available.