Time to take up the Million Tree Challenge


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/05/2021 (494 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As you enter Bridgwater from the north, you are welcomed by the tall structure sitting between the north and southbound lanes of Kenaston Boulevard. I am not sure of the correct term for it but it is impressive and very hard to miss.

Not so impressive are the spruce trees that frame it. They appear unloved and uncared for. In my view, they look dead and ready to be removed. What makes them interesting is the fact that they are not the original trees, which met the same fate a few years ago.

Take a drive around Bridgwater Forest and look at the trees along the roads. How many have been damaged during snow clearing operations, hit by vehicles or are simply struggling?

Then, take a walk through the forest, how many have died? Appear to be dying?

Now, flashback to 2019 and the launch of Mayor Bowman’s Million Tree Challenge which called and continues to call on the community – residents and businesses alike to plant one million trees over a 20-year period.

We have done our part, planting four trees in our backyard over the last couple of years.  Admittedly, we didn’t do it because of the challenge but because we happen to love trees but it could be said that it leaves only 999,996 to go.

What I wonder is what our tree canopy would look like if we actually took better care of the ones that we had? Had we nurtured them and cared for them? If they were not damaged during clearing operations, hit by vehicles and/or simply struggling?

We certainly cannot undo the past but we can build for the future. Trees Winnipeg, a local non-profit has taken on the mission to do just – it is spearheading the Million Tree Challenge and is working to motivate Winnipeggers to join in and plant.

Each spring and fall, Trees Winnipeg’s ReLeaf program offers residents the chance to purchase a tree package which includes supplies and instructions for planting and care. According to its website, the organization sold out of the tree packages within six days this past spring.

If the ReLeaf program sounds interesting, there is still time to participate in 2021 as it is going to be run again this fall. Information about it and other initiatives can be obtained by visiting www.treeswinnipeg.org 

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

Debbie Ristimaki

Debbie Ristimaki
Bridgwater Forest community correspondent

Debbie Ristimaki is a community correspondent for Bridgwater Forest.

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