PLANT­ING TREES

Mem­bers of the Ad­ven­ture Group hon­our 150 Cana­di­ans.

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DAVE STEWART dave.stewart@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

Mem­bers of the Ad­ven­ture Group planted trees in Char­lot­te­town re­cently to hon­our 150 Cana­di­ans who have made a dif­fer­ence in the coun­try.

A cer­e­mony was held in a peace­ful cir­cle sur­rounded by trees just be­hind the Hills­bor­ough Hospi­tal.

The cir­cle has been de­clared a sa­cred place by Mi’kmaq Keptin John Joe Sark.

The cer­e­mony was high­lighted by mul­ti­ple songs by the Lone Cry Singers, mem­bers of the Ad­ven­ture Group read­ing out the names of the 150 Cana­di­ans be­ing rec­og­nized and ac­tual tree plant­ing.

The trees sym­bol­ize new life, ex­actly what the Ad­ven­ture Group tries to help its mem­bers ac­com­plish.

Rox­anne Carter-Thomp­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the group, said the youth lead­er­ship pro­gram spear­headed the ef­fort. The pro­gram, run by youth ages 15 to 21, worked as a group to come up with 150 names.

“It was sup­posed to be cul­tur­ally di­verse and ac­cu­rate and make sense that they are rec­og­niz­ing all the cul­ture in our com­mu­nity and who contributed what,’’ said Carter-Thomp­son.

There are lo­cal names like Cather­ine Call­beck, Lucy Maud Mont­gomery, Stompin’ Tom Con­nors, Joseph Ghiz, Len­nie Gal­lant, Sean Casey, Lawrence Ma­cAulay, Wade MacLauch­lan and Sark and celebrity names like Wayne Gret­zky, Neil Young, Michael J. Fox and Gord Downie.

The Ad­ven­ture Group re­ceived a Canada 150 grant for the tree plant­ing with the task of re­search­ing im­por­tant Cana­di­ans be­fore leav­ing a legacy.

“We will plant 150 trees that are a liv­ing, breath­ing me­mo­rial for 150 Cana­di­ans who have made the coun­try what it is,’’ said Kate­lyn Kennedy, one of the youth lead­ers in the pro­gram.

Carter-Thomp­son noted the many lives that have been changed out since the area the trees are be­ing planted in has also been used by the Ad­ven­ture Group for the past 25 years.

“We like to think when we bring peo­ple out here we’re giv­ing them new op­por­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate new lives for them­selves,’’ Carter-Thomp­son said.

It was also noted that when hur­ri­cane Juan de­stroyed many trees in this for­est in 2003, it left the cir­cle of trees sur­round­ing the sa­cred area un­harmed.

Dave Carmichael, hor­ti­cul­ture tech­ni­cian with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment, was on hand to en­sure a di­verse species of trees was planted.

“We have a mix of species and the whole idea is to make sure it’s di­verse in case there is un­in­ten­tion­ally in­va­sive species in­tro­duced,’’ said Carmichael,

who was re­spon­si­ble for the do­na­tion of the trees through the Green­ing Spa­ces fund­ing.

The list of species planted in­cludes white ash, red maple, su­gar maple, a hy­brid birch, yel­low birch, red oak, hem­lock, white pine, eastern cedar and bal­sam fir.

DAVE STEWART/THE GUARDIAN

Josephine Cormier, left, 8, and Ter­rence Chen, 9, plant a red oak, the pro­vin­cial tree, at a tree plant­ing event in Char­lot­te­town on Fri­day put on by the Ad­ven­ture Group. The event in­volved plant­ing 150 trees, each in hon­our of a Cana­dian who has made a dif­fer­ence in the coun­try.

DAVE STEWART/THE GUARDIAN

Mem­bers of the Lone Cry Singers per­form Fri­day prior to a tree plant­ing cer­e­mony put on by the Ad­ven­ture Group in Char­lot­te­town. Clock­wise from left, are Tren­ton Smith, Dres­mond Cud­more and Cody Sock.

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