Local students and volunteers are busy planning around 500 trees at Surrey Bend Regional Park.
The initiative is being held by Forest Recovery Canada along with the Honda Canada Foundation and the Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society.
Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario and Forest Recovery Canada says the tree planting is desperately needed in BC.
“We have seen significant damage to our forests and certainly here in BC, there is no lack of that with the Mountain Pine Beetle and the fires of the summer. We are in a situation now where we have to be more vigilant than ever to get these forests established again.”
He says the environmental benefit of the trees is obvious, and vital for environmental sustainability, especially as more and more areas become developed.
“Our trees and forests make clear air and water. In BC there is a lot of forest industry that depends on the forests for the forestry sector. When we use wood products derived from sustainably managed forests, we are actually sequestering that carbon in the wood product even beyond the life of the tree. All of those things combined make trees and tree planting such a worthwhile cause.”
Keen emphasized as more trees are destroyed or cut down, we have seen more and more animals lose their habitat. He says this has had a particular effect on pollinators.
“When we lost that forest cover, we lose that wildlife habitat. So getting those forests established again, creating that wildlife habitat, especially for those pollinators. Trees are one of the best pollinators. It’s all part and parcel of the values that our forests bring us.”
Keen says he’s grateful students and volunteers came out to do the planting, adding it shows the youth care for the environment and the future of our planet.