The weekend of November 17 – 18, 2012 is one that the good folks of Goderich will not soon forget. Over a 100 tree planters put 889 trees into the ground in an effort to improving their urban and rural forest canopy. reTREEt America showed up with a force of 35 reTREEters to team up with the Goderich Trees Project and Trees Beyond Goderich to make it all happen. The reTREEters came from as far away as Texas, New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and South Carolina with a good showing from theToronto area, including several board members from the Canadian Tree Fund.
Saturday was spent planting large calliper trees through the urban areas which were most devastated by the tornado in 2011. Teams of locals with reTREEters were scattered throughout town to plant 109 deciduous trees, at no charge to the homeowner. These poor folks had lost everything and have been in the process of putting their lives back together rebuilding homes, dealing with insurance companies, living with friends. The out pouring of gratitude from these folks when they received their new trees was overwhelming, making the effort well worth it.
Sunday started with a bike ride out into the countryside to replant a woodlot which had been flattened and completely destroyed. The owner of the property, Dan Burns, had recently bought it as a retirement home along theMaitlandRiver, and was devastated by his loss. Well over 100 reTREEters and local volunteers showed up to plant 780 contained trees throughout his 6 acre woodlot. Dan was completely overwhelmed by the generosity of the volunteers and by what was accomplished in a single day.
reTREEtAmerica also ensures that there is a balanced amount of fun during a planting event. Friday and Saturday night the local Legion gave us their venue complete with free food and local entertainment. Saturday night we were invited to participate in the Santa Claus parade and we did so on our bikes. Although not quite as organized as the Shriners in their go carts, impressive none the less.
reTREEt America is doing a wonderful thing by replanting communities which have lost their trees to a natural disaster and I would strongly encourage anyone with a sense or volunteerism to join us on a reTREEt soon. Please visit the web site or facebook page for details.
“You sign up to plant trees because you want to help your neighbour; you return with tree knowledge, new friends and an experience you will not quickly forget.
Gloria Thibodeau , Scotia Bank
” Every reTREEt has come with its successes and challenges, in Goderich we planted bigger trees and lots of them with a great group of reTREETers and locals….and the cycling was awesome!!”
Ride Ride Ride…Stuart Crow, Founding Member, reTREEt America
…Greg Hill, Director reTREEt America & CTF