In this first week of February, our Tree Committee has been hatching plans for spring.  And this year we are turning our attention to kids and their families. There is so much to learn about trees and while we are learning – with family and friends–we are mostly outdoors. How wonderful is that!

Neil Carleton photo, for the Millstone

Our Tree Committee remembers the buzz two years ago at AOTH when Diana Beresford-Kroegar was present during Arbour Week for a showing of her film The Call of the Forest. The hall was packed. Diana’s film spoke volumes about the whys of our present climate crisis and also offered many solutions. After the film there were so many questions! Everyone wanted to know what they personally could do in the face of a seemingly overwhelming crisis. Her final message was hopeful: “Keep it simple. Start by planting and caring for trees.”

We want to create a buzz again so this year our Tree Committee is focusing our tree planting efforts in schoolyards, at the beach and in the wild areas of Gemmill Park. We have ordered 10 Sunset Red Maples, 10 Butternut, 10 Winterberry, 10 Larch and 5 Curly Willow. Two schools are on board for this year and we can extend our reach further next year. School staff, parents and teachers will be involved.

The Tree Committee depends on donations from people and organizations in our community who think tree planting not only beautifies our public spaces, but also creates awareness and positive action about the global climate crisis. The Hub, an organization that supports so many local initiatives, generously donated $250.   We were especially thrilled when a group of 50 dynamic young people who were involved in Mi Casa Theatre’s ‘Lighting the Way Climate Action’ felt that tree planting was a worthy enough cause to donate $1000 of what they raised in their Climate Action Theatre event held last October at the Textile Museum. Many thanks to our donors.

For Arbour Week in April, Mi Casa, under the direction of Emily Pearlman, is partnering with the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre to create a small play with young people which will be performed at the Tree Committee’s Earth Day events.

Mark Arbour Week on your calendar – Saturday April 18 to Sunday April 26.

Watch for the Arbour Week schedule of the many events in the Humm, the Millstone and on the Miss Mills website.

May the forest be with you.