A group of community-minded residents braved autumn's chilly arrival Sunday afternoon to make the city a little greener.
About two dozen people chipped their way through the ground at Rotary Skate Park to plant 25 trees as part of the fourth annual TD Tree Days. The local event, supported by the bank's Friends of the Environment Foundation, was one of 20 sites across B.C. where more than 5,000 trees would be planted by 900 volunteers.
"I think it's great for the family and the kids," said Jeff Kelsh, who was planting the bur and pin oaks as well as linden trees with wife Devon, eight-year-old son Jace and 10-month-old daughter Isla. While children may learn about the science behind trees in school, it's a different experience to actually get to see how trees are planted hands on, Kelsh said.
"It makes them respect their surroundings," he added.
A previous project added 125 trees to the Hudson Bay Slough, but this year the skate park users made a request for something that would provide shade, said TD Canada Trust branch manager Martina Humphrey.
"They're bigger trees, so they're a little scarier to plant," said Humphrey, who co-ordinated the volunteers, made up of TD employees and Yellowhead Rotary Club members.
Planters took their cues from the city's integrated pest management co-ordinator Claire Watkins. A variety of factors had to be taken into consideration in selecting the the types of trees, said Watkins. These included the area's exposure, the site's access to water and the amount of carbon dioxide from passing cars or salt from winter street operations.
Rotarian Jim Imrich said he answered the call for help digging holes because of the opportunity to improve the look of the community as well as the chance to help add a little oxygen into the city's air.
In the past, Imrich said he has planted trees at places such as the hospice house and other locations around the city, some as many as 20 years ago.
"It's quite nice to see them grow," Imrich said.
TD employee Courtney Maidment brought friend Lisa Wilson along for their first tree-planting experience.
"It thought it would be cool to get out into the community," said Maidment.
As they chipped away at the rocky earth with their shovels, the pair said it was more difficult than they expected, but were looking forward to the finished product.
"It's pretty awesome," said Wilson. "This will be like our friendship tree now."