City parks crew members plant trees at City Hall. City of Campbell River photo

City parks crew members plant trees at City Hall. City of Campbell River photo

Grant funding supports tree planting at cemetery, city hall

The Campbell River cemetery and the grassy slope next to a parking lot at city hall are now home to new greenery thanks in large part to $5,000 from Tree Canada.

Twenty new ornamental pear trees have been planted at the Highway 19 Cemetery.

At city hall, 12 new trees of various varieties will grow along 9th Avenue. Tree varieties were carefully chosen so they don’t block the ocean view for people living in the apartments across the road.

The planting took place in mid-October, following September’s National Tree Day.

“Fall is a great time to plant trees locally. The wet winter rains in Campbell River help trees set up their roots, which is a boost on their first in-ground growing season,” Alex Walton, the city’s arboriculture technician, says in a press release.

The trees will be good for pollinators, birds and people.

“As a vital part of the global ecosystem, trees have a key role in supporting biodiversity. The day-to-day value in our urban landscape is immense, too,” Walton adds. “Trees help provide cleaner air and wildlife habitat, and they reduce energy demand.”

“We also know that people get a greater sense of wellbeing from the beauty trees bring to our surroundings, and the increased connection with nature,” adds city manager Deborah Sargent. “Adding more trees to the landscape in our community will benefit people for many, many years to come. This grant funding is especially welcome now, during the COVID-19 pandemic when people are experiencing so many difficulties, and we can all benefit from the mental health boost provided by trees.”

The trees planted at city hall and the Highway 19 cemetery are among more than 130 trees planted by the city’s parks crews in Campbell River this year. Ongoing tree planting aligns with recommendations in the Campbell River Urban Forest Management Plan. This year’s planting was funded through a combination of the Tree Canada grant, the street tree reserve fund and the parks operations budget.

Several new trees can be found in parks, near detention ponds, on reclamation sites and as street trees. Thirty-five street trees were replaced on Timberline Drive due to an insect infestation. Salvageable trees from this area were replanted at the Highway 19 Cemetery, where they will grow as edge trees.

“The tree species planted this year are diverse and represent a wide range of the types of trees that can thrive in our community,” Walton says. “With the exception of one tree Galaxy Magnolia that blooms pink, the collection of trees planted at City Hall all have white blossoms at some point of the year. Something to look forward to in 2021.”

Tree Canada is a not-for-profit, charitable organization established in 1992 that provides education, technical assistance, resources and financial support through working partnerships to encourage Canadians to plant and care for trees in rural and urban areas. For more information about Tree Canada programs visit their website at www.treecanada.ca.

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