Forests Ontario 2018 – Community Tree Plant – Windsor
Gina Pannunzio, Paul Giroux and Ian Naisbitt
“Cinco de Mayo!”
On Saturday, 5 May, the Windsor-Essex community celebrated the “Community Tree Plant” event with Forests Ontario. Essex County Nature was invited to participate by Paul Giroux, City of Windsor Forester. This also marked the end of Arbor Week, so we concluded that celebration by giving ourselves a nickname, “The Closers!”
Along with Forests Ontario, Essex Region Conservation Authority and the City of Windsor, the partnership included: TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Ontario Wood, Thomson Emergency and Enbridge.
This is the sixth consecutive year our group has supported the Forests Ontario initiative; the Tranby Park location has been planted the past 2 last years and we returned this year to further expand the “swamp” woodland in the park. The Little River Enhancement Group will include the trees planted today, 134, in our watershed total of 41869.
Mother Nature provided the perfect planting day: Mr. Golden Sun was shining brilliantly all morning, the UV Index was 6 or high, temps started at 15 C at 9 a.m. and rose to 23 C by noon. There was a brisk breeze of 20 km/ h, gusting to 35 km/ h, enough to keep us cool.
Over 30 hardy community volunteers (children, parents and elders) participated by digging holes; planting and mulching the trees, followed by a tree wrap for protection! Volunteers worked from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Two of the young families filled up the morning by planting trees, enjoying the playground equipment and having lunch at the picnic tables. Another family requested a permanent marker to print the name of a deceased family member on the tree wrap as a memorial. One young lad was very excited to see a Gartersnake. He proceeded to try and catch the slithering creature, but it was much too fast for his hands. The reptile sought refuge in a clump of grass at the base of a tree and vanished.
The species of trees that we planted included: Burr Oak, Swamp White Oak, Pin Oak, Red Oak, Freeman’s Maple and American Sycamore. These species of trees are happy to have wet feet/ roots; that’s a good thing, because the holes we dug filled in with water quickly! Spring time in Windsor – Essex is notorious for soakers in natural areas. Some unfortunates forgot to wear wellies.
The final site inspection was completed by a natural overseer, a Red-tailed Hawk soared with the wind and circled the site; we believe the supervisor approved of the woodland expansion.
A big “Thank You” to the Boy Scout group that participated today, great volunteers!
Also, today was The Cornell Laboratory’s eBird “Global Big Day.” In the future, you can participate by watching for birds on 5 May: You don’t need to be a bird expert, or go out all day long. Even 10 minutes in your backyard will help. Global Big Day runs from midnight to midnight in your local time zone. You can report birds from anywhere in the world. Go to: http://ebird.org for more information.
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~ALDO LEOPOLD