Promoting Tree Planting in Lambton Shores
In the early evening of July 27, 2014, a tornado ripped through a wide area in Lambton Shores, leaving a path of destruction behind it.
Thankfully, property damage was modest. But the tornado passed through heavily forested areas, taking down hundreds of trees. Among them were grand old oak trees that were part of the rare Oak Savannah ecosystem. As life slowly returned to normal, the community began to think about how to restore the tree cover. The Grand Bend Community Foundation stepped forward with special funding, and a small committee of citizens and community partners came together to create the 5,000 Trees Project. “It was hard to see so many trees toppled after the tornado,” says co-Chair Max Morden. “The Project was a positive response that helped raise spirits.”
The committee held two tree sales in 2015. Residents had the option of ordering 20 or more trees from the Conservation Authority, and receiving a $50 subsidy, or buying a smaller number of trees at the sale itself. Two education sessions took place in early spring, providing useful information about how to plant and care for native trees in local conditions. By the time of the fall tree sale, the Project even had its own tree mascot! In all, the Project saw some 1,700 trees sold and planted in 2015. The committee is continuing to plan tree sales and related activities, with a goal of reaching at least 5,000 trees planted within 10 years. It is also beginning to expand to a broader focus on issues of climate change and
“We understand the environmental benefit of our trees in Lambton Shores,” says Morden. “The Project is a great way
for people to come together to benefit our community and our planet.”