OTTAWA, Aug. 22, 2017 /CNW/ - A year after the devastating wildfires in Fort McMurray, Scouts Canada youth, Scouters (adult volunteers) and their families will be planting 750 trees in the city's J. Howard Pew Memorial Park on August 26, 2017, to help reforest the area.
"This project was inspired by a group of St. Albert Scouts who are excited about being able to help the community of Fort McMurray and provide these trees as a symbol of hope and regrowth for years to come," said Erin Isobel Shea, Scouter with the 12th St. Albert Scouts and organizer of the tree planting initiative.
Scouting youth are making an impact in restoring the local ecosystem by planting seedlings native to the area – poplar, aspen, spruce and dogwood – and the Wild Rose, Alberta's provincial flower. Three symbolic trees – a Manitoba Maple, representing Canada; a Lodgepole Pine, symbolizing Alberta; and a Paper Birch, symbolic of First Nations – will be planted to recognize the strength and unity of the community. These trees will be supplied by Tree Canada's Tree to Our Nature, Canada 150 legacy program.
To mark the reforestation of the park, Fort McKay drummer Nicolas Giant will perform a blessing song. During a special ceremony, four Scouters who lost their service awards in the wildfire will be presented with replacements and honoured for their hard work and dedication.
"Environmental stewardship, citizenship and community service are longstanding core values of Scouts Canada," said Caitlyn Piton, National Youth Commissioner and Chair of the National Youth Network, Scouts Canada. "The amount of trees that were lost in Fort McMurray was devastating to the local ecosystem. Scouts Canada is committed to doing its part to help our environment and our neighbours as they recover from this tragedy."
The initiative is funded by Scouts Canada, Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment, which donated $50,000 to fund 20 Scouts Canada tree-planting initiatives in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick taking place throughout 2017.
Environmental Stewardship is a core component of Scouts Canada's program. In an effort to reduce Canada's negative environmental impact, Scouting youth aged 5-26 and volunteers, plant approximately 200,000 trees each year across the country in the spring and fall, as part of the Scoutrees program. Since 1972, Scouts have planted approximately 80 million trees. There are many long established forest sites planted by Scouts dating as far back as 1916.
ABOUT SCOUTS CANADA
Kids in Scouts have fun adventures, discovering new things and experiences they wouldn't discover elsewhere. Along the way, they develop into capable, confident and well-rounded individuals, better prepared for success in the world. For tens of thousands of children and youth across Canada, Scouts is the start of something great. Scouts Canada is the country's leading co-ed youth organization, offering programming for children and youth aged 5-26 in multiple languages, reflecting Canada's multicultural landscape and communities. For more information, visit Scouts.ca.
Scouts Canada is a not-for-profit organization (Charitable Registration No. 10776 1694 RR0028) and a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.
SOURCE Scouts Canada