Posted by Peter Szoke on May 13, 2019
Join us for the 11th annual Richmond Hill Rotary Tree Planting at Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve on Wednesday, May 22.  Please note the change to one day earlier than previously announced.  All are welcome to watch a raptor (birds of prey, not the basketball team) show at 11:30 am. School children will participate in a tree planting starting at 1pm. Meet at the park entrance on Old Colony Road near Bond Lake School in Oak Ridges.
  • 400 plus York Region Students reforest Oak Ridges Moraine Corridor Park, the 11th Year
  • See your York Region students in action – doing and learning reforestation, Wednesday May 22 from 9 am to 3 pm.
  • 2019 will be the 11th year for this project originated by Richmond Hill Rotary Club.
The results of the previous 10 years can be seen along Old Colony Road, west of Bayview in the north east corner of the big new Oak Ridges Park. There 20 foot fast growing poplar trees tower above slower growing oaks, maples and pines, cedars, elm, butternut and sumachs and shrubs beside the older growth forests of Catfish Pond. With the approval of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and help from the Town of Richmond Hill’s Urban Forestry Department, more than 13,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted by students in 12 acres since May 2009 at a cost of more than $160,000. In addition the Richmond Hill Rotary, major funding has come from the Toronto Dominion Bank’s Friends of the Environment. Other funding has come from the Richmond Hill Garden and Horticulture Society and TRCA. It is a small but ongoing program of bringing back forests and savannahs to the more than 1200 acres and growing, of what is now called the Corridor Conservation Reserve.
High school students arrive after 9 am for tree planting training. Grades 5 and 6 students from Region public schools and three private schools arrive after 11 am, bringing their lunches and watching a Raptor flying show by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy. Work in teams of high school leaders and elementary students begins at 12.30 pm, with 12 to 1500 trees planted, mulched, plastic guard protected and given an initial watering as the kids take busses back to their schools and home. Or in the case of Bond Lake Elementary School walk back across previously planted areas.
“It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and competence of the young students and their leaders” says Shelagh Harris, honorary Rotarian and former Richmond Hill teacher and librarian, who has come to the planting each year, whose husband Bill initiated the program in 2009.
Since 2009, more than 3,000 York Region Grades 5/6 students and 1,000 high school students have planted in this project, an educational and forest and open space restoration program.
Thank you very much to TD Friends of the Environment for their generous support of this project for many years.  There is no way that we would be doing this without them!
Above is a photo from a previous Rotary Tree Planting.