This Sunday, volunteers in Penticton will be joining others across Canada in planting 45,000 trees in 140 locations.
It’s all part of TD Green Days, and in Penticton volunteers are gathering at 10 a.m. at the oxbows near the mouth of Ellis Creek at the foot of Industrial Ave.
According to Linda Skode, the Penticton site leader, the event has been drawing larger numbers each of its three previous years.
“Our first year, when we started off I think we had 12, the next year we had 20 and then last year we had 40. We are getting a lot of involvement from some local clubs,” said Skode. “Usually we have people that come back year after year, we have the Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and Special Olympics, Friends of the Oxbows and the South Okanagan Naturalists’ Society.”
In previous years, trees have been planted along Penticton Creek, near Entre Lacs School, but this year, they are moving to a different type of terrain, and planting trees in the oxbow area.
“The Friends of the Oxbows have been working on there and they have quite a bit of work done already so we are just going to help them get a little bit more done,” said Skode. “It’s going to be all trees that are native to the area, trees and shrubs.”
The oxbow brings with it some challenges. In addition to being a sensitive habitat, the new trees will have to be placed carefully to leave room for the equipment that is occasionally brought in to dredge the slough.
Skode said that if they get large numbers of volunteers, they will need to break them up into different tasks.
“We’ll break them up into two groups and have them do other things like weed control as well as any garbage pickup if it needs to be done,” said Skode.
TD Green Days is sponsored by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, which recently sponsored a survey showing 68 per cent of Canadians are concerned about the loss of green space in their community.
“Although many Canadians are concerned about the loss of green spaces in their communities, we know that many are looking for ways to make a difference,” said Mary Desjardins, executive director of the foundation. “TD’s flagship volunteer program – TD Tree Days – offers Canadians a fun, easy way to give back.
We invite those who want to lend a hand in growing the green spaces in their community to join us as we plant 45,000 trees nationwide.”
Skode asks that those wanting to volunteer to help plant on Sept. 22 pre-register online at tdtreedays.com.
“Quite often we get a lot of people that show up rather than register,” said Skode.
“What we would like people to do is go on the website and register to come so we have a number count.”