Front row, left to right, Selkirk Home Hardware owner Rob Borthistle, Selkirk Councillor Kelly Cook, Selkirk Steelers Braden Shea, Riley Giauque, Brett Friesen and Adam Withers, and Tree Canada representative Mike James, join city staff and Selkirk Community Renewal Corporation staff at Friday’s tree planting in Selkirk Park.
The City of Selkirk celebrated National Forest Week in a most appropriate way by partnering with Selkirk Home Hardware Building Centre and Tree Canada to plant 69 trees in city parks and green spaces.
An official ceremony was held at 10 a.m. on Sept. 23 at Selkirk Park where 10 trees were planted to help reforest areas where trees were lost during floods several years ago. The remaining 59 trees will be planted at other parks throughout the city.
Members of Selkirk council, city staff, representatives from Home Hardware and Tree Canada along with Selkirk Steelers players were on hand to plant the trees.
the Selkirk community comes together
Selkirk Home Hardware applied to Tree Canada for a grant for the trees. Kristy Magnusson, Community Facilitator with the Selkirk Community Renewal Corporation, recommended Home Hardware donate the trees to the City of Selkirk.
“We’re constantly upgrading our parks and buying trees and planting them in various parks and this is a huge boost to us,” said Chris Carruthers, Director of Culture, Recreation and Green Transportation.
“To be able to partner with Selkirk Community Renewal Corporation and Home Hardware, a national sponsor of Communities in Bloom, it’s a wonderful partnership. We thank Tree Canada for helping us take another step towards reforesting Selkirk’s parks.”
The trees – 20 Lord Selkirk Maple trees and 49 Unity Maple trees – will be planted in Selkirk Park as well as other city parks.
Selkirk’s Strategic Plan makes a vibrant, safe and healthy community a priority and aims to achieve that by continued development of the city’s natural features and outdoor spaces and providing the best possible recreation opportunities for its residents. The Strategic Plan also makes environmental stewardship a priority and encourages more environmentally responsible development.
Planting for tomorrow
Mayor Larry Johannson said the city has been steadily improving its parks and takes seriously its role as an environmental steward. The city has established its own tree farm that it will use to diversify its treed areas and a gift of 69 Maple trees is truly appreciated.
“I thank Home Hardware for applying for this on our behalf. That shows strong community spirit on their part, and I thank Selkirk Community Renewal Corporation for recommending the city receive the trees. And of course, a thank you to Tree Canada for selecting us as a recipient of these trees,” Johannson said.
“I know that this is going to be a plus for the city. Sixty-nine trees is a tremendous amount of trees. We feel we’ve done a lot of work in our parks and we’re so proud of them, and now to have these additional trees, it really is icing on the cake.”
Back to our roots
Carruthers said the city plans to naturalize some of its parks, beginning with Penwarden. It will be returned to natural grasses and the Maple trees will be planted throughout the park, leaving space so other types of trees can be planted among them.
Duane Nicol, the city’s Chief Administrative Officer, said the tree farm, and the trees donated by Home Hardware and Tree Canada, will help the city achieve the diversity it needs in its urban canopy to help it survive.
“Diversity in the city’s trees means if there’s an outbreak that attacks one type of tree, we won’t be wiped out because we’ll have other kinds that will survive,” Nicol said.
“Diversity is the best way to deal with outbreaks of disease or insects. We’ll have resiliency within our system.”