Since 2009, Neighbourwoods, in partnership with Centre Wellington Parks and Recreation Department, has been planting Celebration Trees in community parks. What started as a germ of an idea by Donna Ross and Peter Szmidt has blossomed over the years, and now there are 134 trees planted and plaqued in more than 10 parks recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, love, lives lived, and milestones.
After Donna and Peter moved to Merrickville, the Program’s future was in jeopardy. Thankfully, Paul Mitchell stepped in to take over with volunteers Susan Brown, Anne Hobbs, and Judi Feldman, with support from Neighbourwoods coordinator Toni Ellis.
With so many Celebration Trees, it has become clear that there are too many for Parks staff to weed thoroughly. Donors are now being notified to ask them to take over the annual weeding task of their tree, then Township staff will mulch each tree, this year after August 5.
The other news is that this fall the Celebration Trees Program is winding up after 12 rewarding years. However, the Township has its own planting program so dedicated tree planting will continue, although no doubt with a little different flavour. “When I spend time in our parks and admire all our new trees, I am reminded how much we appreciate the volunteers and donors who have made this program such a success,” reflects Matt Tucker, Manager of Parks and Recreation.
For more information about the Township’s program please contact Marissa McKay at MMacKay@centrewellington.ca. If you want to order a final Celebration Tree, there is room for a couple more. If you are interested, contact Paul Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org before the cut-off date of August 1, 2020.