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Upcoming tree planting events to help build Brantford-Brant tree canopy

EnvironmentUpcoming tree planting events to help build Brantford-Brant tree canopy

As Earth Week quickly approaches, the Brant Tree Coalition (BTC), with the help of Brant Waterways Foundation and the Grand River Conservation Area (GRCA), are gearing up for another year of community tree planting events throughout the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.

The Brant Tree Coalition was established in 2005 and has since planted over 122,900 trees, shrubs and pollinator plants throughout the Brantford-Brant community.

“The role of the BTC is to help naturalize different areas alongside the community,” said Chuck Beach, a BTC event organizer. “It’s a consortium of individual volunteers like myself, industry supporters, the City of Brantford and the County of Brant, the GRCA, as well as service groups, and it’s really  a collaboration that works together to make these tree planting events happen.”

A group of volunteers pose alongside their second planted tree during last year’s Brantford Tree Planting event on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Individuals, families, friends, and even coworkers that are looking to get involved and celebrate Earth Week, are invited to attend either, or both, the ninth annual Brant County Community Tree Planting event, as well as the 11th annual Brantford Community Tree Planting event.

The County is looking to plant a goal of 475 native tree and shrub species at Jacob’s Woods Park (14 Hampton Crt., St. George) on Saturday, April 20, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

On-street parking will be available at the north end of Hampton Court and Margaret Drive, entrance to the park is free and volunteers will provide directions to the planting area. As well, the St. George Lions Club will be providing a free barbecue lunch and refreshments for volunteers.

For the City’s event, the BTC is aiming to plant 1,000 native tree and shrub species in Brier Park (45 Winding Way, Brantford) on Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Student volunteers from Pauline Johnson gave attendees step-by-step instructions to plant a tree during last year’s Brantford Tree Planting event on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Parking will be available at the Ravenwood Road parking lot, as well as both Resurrection and Brier Park schools. Apotex Pharmachem will also be supplying coffee and hot chocolate, and bulk water will be available on site.

Both events will run rain or shine and volunteers should dress for the weather accordingly, though long-sleeved shirts and pants are advised.

Residents are being asked to bring the following personal items to either event:

  • Gloves
  • Closed-toe, sturdy footwear (boots are highly recommended)
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Shovel (limited shovels will be available), and
  • Rainwear (if needed)

Upon arrival, student volunteers from local high schools will be greeting residents, providing instructions on how to properly transplant vegetation and handing out a variety of trees, shrub and pollinator species to volunteering residents. 

Mackenzie David and Jaidyn Mallais worked hard to plant a tree during last year’s Brantford Tree Planting event on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Beach said that getting high school students on board, not only provides an opportunity to teach them the importance of maintaining green spaces, but to also teach them how to properly execute an event as a community.

“We like to have high school students orchestrate these community tree plants and so that way, they’re also actually learning a bit about organizing and executing an event,” he said. “This year, we have students from Paris District High School helping with the County event, and we have students from the very special environmental class (e3 Program Ecology, Environment and Education Focus) at Pauline Johnson High School helping us with the City’s event.”

Work done during the community tree planting events helps to build up the existing tree canopy within both the County and the City.

As stated in the City of Brantford Tree Canopy Fact Sheet, urban tree canopies are important community assets that help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Some of the many benefits of urban trees include: sequestering carbon and providing clean air to breathe, providing shade to protect from harmful UV rays and cool ground temperatures, as well as helping to reduce energy consumption for low-rise buildings,” says the document. As well, “helping manage stormwater and flooding, providing natural habitats for native species of animals, birds, and insects, as well as creating an aesthetic, liveable environment that increases property values by up to 30 per cent.”

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