Students work with Greenways Land Trust replanting a site near Georgia Park Elementary. Some of the newly planted trees were recently pulled out of the ground and dropped up a nearby trail. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Someone rips up trees planted by Campbell River conservation group

Greenways will probably wait until 2019 to order replacement for the vegetation

Someone took off with newly planted trees and shrubs from two sites on which Greenways Land Trust had been working this fall.

In the Dick Murphy Park area of the Tyee Spit, Greenways had planted some trees back on Oct. 17 and 18.

RELATED STORY: Volunteers tackle purple invaders in Campbell River Estuary

On Nov. 9, someone from Greenways was taking a school group around the area and noticed that about 10 trees had been uprooted and taken from the site. The vegetation was a mix of black hawthorn, saskatoon and snow berry.

“We had mulched them with wood chips, so they could tell the wood chips had been moved aside, and there was an empty hole where they had been a tree,” says Lynnette Hornung, Greenways community engagement coordinator.

As well, Greenways has also been working with local students to restore a site near Georgia Park Elementary to remove invasive plants and replace them with native species.

“We’ve just been planting there over the last couple of weeks,” Hornung says.

RELATED STORY: Campbell River students and Greenways Land Trust take on invasive species

They were back at the site earlier this week with students for more planting. Once again, it looks like someone dug up some newly planted trees up from the site.

In the case at the Tyee Spit, the trees have not shown up, but at Georgia Park the plants were found a short distance down a trail.

“You can see clearly that they had just been taken out of the pots and planted not that long ago because the root ball was all still in its pot-shaped form,” Hornung says.

She is not sure if the culprit may have intended to come back and take them. The value of the trees is not that great, and it is unclear whether the same culprit is behind each incident, particularly as the trees taken from the Tyee Spit have not been found.

Greenways contacted the city parks department and found out such incidents can happen on occasion at city sites, but they did not file a police report.

“It’s kind of hard to track down trees that grow natively around here, and could be anywhere,” Hornung says.

While the monetary value is not high, for now Greenways is holding off replacing the trees because of the time of the year. Some vegetation has been donated, while some has been purchased. They expect to wait until next year when they make a larger order, which will help reduce delivery costs.

“We don’t really have the budget,” Hornung says. “We’ll probably wait under we order more. Our planting for this year is pretty much done.”

RELATED STORY: Greenways partners with TD to add 200 trees to Campbell River nature reserve

In other Greenways news, the organization is holding its annual Christmas Online Auction, which goes live on Friday, Nov. 23 starting at noon and runs through to Dec. 11, at 11 p.m. This year’s theme is “Campbell River Experiences.” Last year artist Alex Witcombe donated a large nature-themed driftwood mural to Greenways that raised $2,500 to support operational costs.

For more information on the auction or to help, see https://www.greenwaystrust.ca/ or contact Greenways at 250-287-3785 or info@greenwaystrust.ca.

“There’s always more trees for planting at a later date that we need more help with,” Hornung adds.

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