Trees have lifespans often much longer than humans somewhere between 100 and 200 years. Their value to a property is long-lasting and incredibly beneficial – from the carbon dioxide they trap from the atmosphere to the fruit they produce to feed animals and humans.
Abbey Gardens which focuses on ecology and sustainability is planting 150 trees (in honour of the country’s sesquicentennial) this year as a fundraiser supporting its programming and to green the property.
“There will be a real visual impact if we can get to that 150 mark and have all those trees on the property” said Heather Reid operations manager at West Guilford’s Abbey Gardens.
Each tree requires a $150 donation and donors’ names will be listed on a special plaque on the property.
“We are intending to do fruit trees … where our bees are right now” Reid said. “We’ve been wanting to add an orchard to the property for a while.”
The orchard will provide flowers for pollination and will also bring another attraction for visitors to the property to pick apples. Abbey Gardens has participated in the county’s Applesauce Project before which gathers unused apples in the fall and makes applesauce which is then taken to those who buy food through Meals on Wheels.
Besides fruit trees Abbey Gardens intends to plant deciduous and coniferous trees as well.
“The mixture of deciduous and coniferous is partly to add visual variety so you have colour in summer and winter and it’s pretty sandy soil so pine trees are pretty happy here” she said.
Some of the projects the funds support include school trips to Abbey Gardens outdoor enhancements such as the recently unveiled Enchanted Forest and kids’ play areas. The addition of the trees also helps in a practical way with the centre’s ongoing rehabilitation of the site which is built in a spent gravel pit.
For those who would like to donate a tree in someone else’s name or memory Reid said there will be space on the plaque for those names to be noted. Trees will be planted this fall with a ceremony expected the following spring.
You can pick up cards for the campaign which is named Make Your Mark at Abbey Gardens (1012 Garden Gate Drive off Highway 118 just west of West Guilford) or go online to make a donation: abbeygardens.ca and scroll down to Make Your Mark.