A successful day of tree planting at Meeting Lake 03
For the sixth straight year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Meeting Lake 03 Conservation Volunteers tree planting event brought staff and volunteers together to support forest conservation in Saskatchewan. This is my second summer as a communications and engagement intern with NCC, and one of the first volunteer events I’ve taken part in this year.
Volunteer preparing the soil to plant a tree (Photo by NCC)
Seventeen volunteers and six staff members showed up early on Saturday, May 28, eager to put trees in the ground. Weather-wise, we couldn’t have asked for a better day to tree plant. The rain held off until all the trees had been planted, and then began as we left the property. which benefited the newly planted seedlings. In total, 400 spruce trees and 50 chokecherry trees were planted that day, giving restoration hope to a property that’s experienced previous vegetation loss due to logging.
Sherry Clemens planting a tree (Photo by NCC)
It was my first time at NCC’s Meeting Lake 03 property, and many of the volunteers were unfamiliar with the region as well.
This was the first NCC event for Sherry Clemens, who made the long trek out from her Moose Jaw-area home to give a helping hand. After hearing about NCC’s work at the Buffalo Pound property, Sherry felt compelled to get a first-hand volunteer experience herself. With a long-standing love of nature and its many plants and animals, giving back to the Earth made good sense for Sherry, who enjoyed spending her Saturday working in the soil.
Linda Huard planting a tree (Photo by NCC)
For other volunteers, like Linda Huard, the Meeting Lake 03 conservation effort hits close to home — literally. Now living in Saskatoon, Linda grew up on a ranch near the Meeting Lake 03 property. She feels lucky to call this region home, and recognizes the importance of conserving grasslands in the province. “The joy of the first spring crocuses, the smell of the sun-warmed prairies, the sweetness of wild berries, and the sounds of wind whispering through the aspens are all experiences of my childhood that I want future generations to have as well,” she explained. “I've been thinking about volunteering with NCC for a while now. With all the dire news of climate change, getting to do something tangible with other people who care about Canada's wild spaces is really uplifting. It gives me hope that there are people who care and are making a difference for Canada and the planet.”
A newly planted white spruce tree (Photo by NCC)
Tree planting, as I found out, is hard work. It requires intensive scraping, digging and the careful placement of each tree seedling to ensure the greatest chances of long-term growth and survival. Hard labour obviously hasn’t been a deterrent for NCC volunteers, as this was the sixth straight year of successful tree planting at Meeting Lake 03. With a strong turnout this year, I’m hopeful that tree planting events at Meeting Lake 03 will continue to be a long-standing tradition.
Click here for more information on Conservation Volunteer opportunities and ways to get involved with NCC.