Canada’s Sixth Annual National Tree Day will be celebrated in communities across the country today, Wednesday, September 21, 2016. Otonabee Conservation, in partnership with the City of Peterborough and the Otonabee Conservation Foundation (OCF), will mark this national event by planting a tree at King George Public Elementary School in Peterborough.
“National Tree Day serves as a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the many benefits that trees provide to our communities – benefitting human health, improving air quality and wildlife habitat and providing a buffer against the effects of climate change,” says Dan Marinigh, Chief Administrative Officer for Otonabee Conservation. “Research shows that trees in a school yard provide an enhanced learning experience, fostering an appreciation of nature, awareness of responsible stewardship and increased student achievement,” explains Marinigh.
“The planting of a tree recognizes the efforts of all 30 schools that participated in the 2016 Earth Day School Yard Clean-Up,” says Meredith Carter, Manager of the Watershed Management Program at Otonabee Conservation. This year, King George Public Elementary School was chosen to receive a tree in celebration of students’ efforts to make every day, Earth Day. The trees are sourced from the Ecology Park (Peterborough) and supported by the City of Peterborough, Otonabee Conservation, the Otonabee Conservation Foundation, and GreenUp Ecology Park,” added Carter.
“We are very pleased that King George Public Elementary School is the recipient of a tree this year, as staff and students have demonstrated a strong commitment to the making every day Earth Day through a variety of activities,” says Jodi Whetung, Principal at King George Public Elementary School.
“The school Environmental Club runs all year, with staff and students utilizing a wooded area on Armour Hill to allow our students to play in the woods during nutrition breaks. Additionally, our School Council has hired a local business, ThinkOutside, to work with our students on environmental education in our own backyard, and our teachers work at incorporating outdoor education throughout the year as often as possible, in as many ways as possible. The school also has a strong recycling program, and a “boomerang lunch” program that encourages families to accept responsibility for any garbage that they send to school by taking it home or using reusable containers so there ISN’T any garbage!” added Whetung.
National Tree Day was introduced in the House of Commons as a private member’s motion by Royal Galipaeu, M.P. for Ottawa-Orleans and passed on March 3, 2011 by MPs from every political party. National Tree Day is held on the Wednesday of National Forest Week, September 18th to the 24th, 2016.