Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earth Week Starts

This past Friday I had opportunity to be one of a number of Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Brantford to plant some trees in West Brant. For this Earth Week, the City of Brantford is pushing to increase the tree canopy of the city. In an article from the Brantford Expositor, the city "Dreams of More Trees". At present, the canopy in the city is at 15-23%, which isn't much and certainly a drive through the new subdivisions over in West Brant will reveal hectares and hectares of subdivisions with nary a tree to be found, or you might find one per property. In other words, it's not looking very good for trees in Brantford. However there is now a desire to change all of that and the city has aimed for a target of 40% canopy in the city.

A number of plantings are taking place over the week.

This led to my involvement in the event, besides being a good Rotarian. After our weekly meeting a number of us assembled in a park off Colbourne Street West and began to plant:

The club planted a number of shrubs and Sugar Maples. After planting them, and you will notice the trees were planted along a culvert which ran into a creek, mulch was added to stablize and keep the weeds down.

This maple is a fairly fast growing maple, so hopefully in a few years, probably about 5-10 it will be a good size, providing shade, soil and water retention as well as cover for local animals and birds.

I should point out, the Chair of the Environment and Ecology Committee, Teresa Winn, was able to gather some more donations and so the Club donated the excess to assist with the greening of a school in the area. This is another important aspect of the greening of Brantford, turning the school yards into something that is liveable rather then more concrete. This is also the goal of a group called Evergreen.

It's all part of the work we need to do to lower our carbon footprint on the planet. If we can just plant more trees and keep them growing we can do something to cool down our climate.

I suppose the quesion can be asked "Can planting a few trees really make a difference"? Well, the answer is, yes, perhaps individually it is small, but if a lot of people plant a couple of trees each, it will make a great difference. Never underestimate the power of a sapling and a shovel.

Go plant a tree.

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