Sunday April 24, 2022 | COLWOOD, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
On a sunny Earth Day afternoon, a new dogwood tree was planted in a Colwood park.
About 20 people gathered for the event held at Latoria Creek Park on Pelican Drive on Friday April 22.
The relaxed but organized announcement was presented by Citizens’ Environment Network in Colwood (CENiC) past-president Carol Brown. Short remarks were made by City of Colwood Mayor Rob Martin and the city’s Parks Manager Gord Beauvillier.
Recognition by CENIC:
The day’s feature recognition was given by CENiC (pronounced ‘scenic’) to local residents Abby and Roger St Pierre for their long-time volunteer efforts to maintain the park near their home.
The St Pierre’s moved to Colwood before the big housing boom of recent years. For about 15 years they’ve been appreciating the natural beauty of the area, they readily offered to help with removing invasive species and picking up garbage on their regular walks.
Mayor Martin said the work of volunteers Abby and Roger St Pierre is an example of “truly what a community should be”.
The Colwood mayor said that he and his council “make sure they’re standing on solid ground” when they make decisions. Environmental and sustainability decisions seem to always be in the municipal viewfinder.
Recognition was also given to two other leadership efforts in the community, who made brief remarks.
- London Drugs Colwood store manager Edwin Rebner was recognized for his store’s continuing efforts to assist with recycling in the community. Among other projects, the store accepts plastics, light bulbs and batteries for recycling.
- Royal Roads University (RRU) vice-president of communications and advancement Susan Gee accepted recognition for continuing environmental efforts on the campus including a focus on climate in all programs (offering leadership to students, faculty and staff), and recently launching the Royal Roads re-imagined Kitchen Garden which will include a 3,000 sq ft of growing garden area, Indigenous food and medicine gardens, and market garden space.
In addition to receiving a framed certification, both Rebner and Gee were given small rescue-trees from local development construction sites, thought to be fir trees.
New tree & nearby forest:
Beauvillier remarked that the park includes Douglas Fir, western red cedar, alder and maples as well as native Pacific Dogwood trees (the official tree of British Columbia), all of which represent the majority of what’s found in the west coast rainforest.
There are also some Garry Oak trees, found in small groves, which is notable for the ongoing efforts on south Vancouver Island to maintain that species in natural area, given the distinct ecosystems that evolve within Garry Oak meadows.
The new dogwood tree planted on Earth Day 2022 is an Eddy’s White Wonder variety which Beauvillier explained will be more resistant to current climate conditions.
The new sapling standing about eight feet tall is not in the forested area but on its own in a lawn area of the park, near the intersection of Pelican Road and Metchosin Road.
At the end of the official event the tree was given a fencing wrap-around for protection from deer and other impacts.
The new tree will grow to about 20 feet in height, and eventually provide a canopy of about 15 feet in diameter, says Beauvillier.
Participants on Earth Day:
For showing up on Earth Day, City of Colwood Communications Manager handed out blue reusable bags with a white City of Colwood logo on them.
The bags contained one or more wildflower seed balls which could be planted in remembrance of the day’s event and of course more broadly to produce an ongoing flowering of Earth Day recognition in years to come.
The CENiC group states their mission as to encourage and support measurable progress on climate action and environmental sustainability in Colwood. Their group is comprised of Colwood residents is support of the future of the community and the planet.
The new president is Harley Gordon. Past-president is Carol Brown.
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