Community Stories

The show must ‘grow’ on

June 19, 2020

Each year, a commemorative Arbor Day tree is planted at a local school to acknowledge the growth of children concurrent with the growth and importance of nature.

Arbor Day in Alberta takes place as a part of Alberta Forest Week, and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry typically donates seedlings, teaching aids and forestry info for Red Deer’s grade one students.

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow for the distribution of these seedlings but they, along with numerous other seedlings from initiatives throughout the city, will be planted in Red Deer’s parks and green spaces in honour of those students. More than 5600 total seedlings will be planted this year through various reforestation events, including Arbor Day.

The 2020 Arbor Day tree is a three-metre tall Bur Oak from The City of Red Deer tree nursery, and it has been planted at one of Red Deer’s newest schools in Clearview Ridge, Father Henri Voisin. Principal of Father Henri Voisin School, Jeff Tuchscherer happily accepts the tree, “we are extremely grateful to The City of Red Deer for including us in their annual tradition of tree planting to commemorate Arbor Day. Even though we were unable to have our students included in this occasion, this tree will have a long lasting impact on our school community. As Catholics, we believe that God has called us to be stewards of the earth. This tree will stand as a staunch reminder and robust symbol of that calling. Its growth and development will reinforce the positive impact of our effort to care for God's creation.”

Susan Katzell, City of Red Deer Urban Forester has been involved in the planting of thousands of seedlings, “I have been fortunate to have been personally involved in Arbor Day tree plantings for numerous years. In my time, I have seen Bur Oak, Edible Apple, Green Ash, Ornamental Crabapple, Scots Pine, and White Spruce trees planted at Red Deer’s schools. It is always a highlight for me.” Katzell continues, “our urban forest benefits from everyone’s interest and commitment to trees in our city, so growing that excitement in children is an important step to protecting our environment. We look forward to continuing the program with grade one students in 2021.”

For more information on The City of Red Deer’s forestry initiatives and how you can contribute to conservation efforts, please click here.

Thank you to Father Henri Voisin School, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, Appollo Nurseries and Landscape, Red Deer Public Schools, Red Deer Separate Schools, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools for continuing to make this program a success.