Residents invited to battle climate change while helping Sidney grow – Saanich News

Residents of Sidney will have a chance to do their part in the fight against climate change by planting a tree on their own property or joining a tree planting effort at Peter Grant Park Saturday.

The municipality said in a media release that property owners can pick up a free sapling or seedling of their choice from Town Hall until Sept. 23 between 8:30 am to 4 pm. Species include: Pacific crabapple, Garry oak, big-leaf maple, red alder, western red cedar, and Douglas fir. Selection will happen on a first-come, first-served basis with some species limited.

Residents can also participate in a tree planting day at Peter Grant Park as part of Sidney’s third-annual Tree Appreciation Day, Sept. 24.

Planting scheduled to take place between 9:45 am to 1 pm will see community members help plant Douglas fir seedlings in Peter Grant Park in an area alongside KEL, SET (Reay Creek), while also helping to remove invasive plant species like English Ivy.

“As the native trees grow, they will help stabilize the streambank and provide shade over this important salmon stream,” the release reads.

The Douglas firs being planted were once seedlings left unclaimed from last year’s tree giveaway. They have been thriving in Sidney’s shadehouse, doubling many times in size since last fall.

This effort represents a partnership between the municipality and the Greater Victoria Team. Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith said in the release that the tree represents an invaluable part of Sidney, providing beauty and shade while increasing the community’s resilience to climate change.

“I appreciate the time volunteers from both the community and the Greater Victoria Green Team take each year to invest in the future of Sidney’s tree canopy,” he said.

Amanda Evans, programs and partnerships director for Green Teams of Canada, said in a release that planting trees is important for so many reasons, including reducing the impacts of climate change by helping to capture carbon in the atmosphere, cleaning the air of pollutants, and providing habitat to many types of animal species.

“Green Teams of Canada also believes that the act of planting trees together with others helps to build a resilient community of healthy people engaged in positive action,” she said.

“This leads to improved mental health and well-being, and the feeling of belonging and connection to place.”

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