“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” This greek proverb has been a common phrase and practice in my family - from my great-grandfather, to grandfather, father, mother, sister and now hopefully me!
As a child my father always forced my Girl Guide group into community tree planting which I hated at the time, but as an adult I quite enjoy seeing the fruits of my labour line the streets of Wolfville!
I grew up outside of Avonport on a hobby farm where my father grows trees in his arbourarium which is made up of hundreds of species and thousands of trees. Each spring he would partner with a non-profit group in a local community (Wolfville, Yarmouth, Windsor, Mahone Bay, London Ontario, to name a few). We would talk to the municipal government & community groups to get approval to plant trees on public land.
I would like to host an "Awesome Halifax Re-plant"! We would recruit planters through social media and personal contacts. We would set a date in May that the trees will be delivered to pre-determined public spaces where supplies and instruction will be provided. We want to ensure that the trees planted live long healthy lives at hopefully at some point planters might be able to sit in their shade!
For people to feel a sense of pride in the environment in their community they have to have a connection to it. My generation often wants to be involved in environmental change but rarely mobilizes themselves to do anything about it. By planting trees the volunteers will forever remember the one that they planted, watch it grow, take pride in their community and hopefully motivate them to make more positive changes!
For example, my sister organized her graduating class at UWO to plant 500 trees on campus. Many of them planted their trees in locations that were special to them or with people who were special to them. My sister planted hers in front of the on-campus hospital where my uncle went through intensive surgery and became a paraplegic after a farm accident. She planted it with all of the family present and many of us go back to visit it and check in on its progress since!
Funded by Halifax, NS (March 2012)