Community

'Tree Day' in Maple Ridge

The remnants of syringes are collected from a property on Cliff Avenue, where a homeless existed, during the third annual TD Tree Days event on Sunday. More than  250 trees, shrubs and other vegetation were planted by more than 25 volunteers, including members of the 2nd Pitt Meadows Girl Guides. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
The remnants of syringes are collected from a property on Cliff Avenue, where a homeless existed, during the third annual TD Tree Days event on Sunday. More than 250 trees, shrubs and other vegetation were planted by more than 25 volunteers, including members of the 2nd Pitt Meadows Girl Guides.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

The offer came at about just the right time. The homeless camps on the hill next to the Salvation Army's Caring Place had been cleared out, but there have been lingering effects from the habitation on the little forest that separated the shelter from the condos and houses below.

So who should call Maple Ridge's parks and leisure services offering their services for a project – but TD Bank and its Friends of the Environment Foundation.

TD asked the district if it wanted to participate in its annual Tree Day in 2012 and the district's parks and leisure services readily agreed.

"They're going to be supplying all of the volunteers," said Dave Speers, neighborhood development coordinator for Maple Ridge's parks and leisure services.

They also supplied all of the trees as well, so the cost to the district for last Sunday's tree-planting blitz was zero.

People who live nearby also were contacted to see if they wanted help out in the planting. "It's a great opportunity for us to engage the residents," said Speers.

About 34 volunteers were scheduled to be at 22191 Cliff Ave., starting at 1 p.m. The goal was to plant between 250 to 300 maples, cedars, gooseberries, shrubs and ferns.

Maple Ridge is just one of more than 100 locations across Canada that will get the urban forest restoration.

According to TD, urban forests benefit an area by:

• storing and trapping gaseous air pollutants and particulates;

• cooling, shade, and wind reduction;

• storm-water attenuation;

• noise buffering;

• provision of wildlife habitat;

• increased property value;

• improved aesthetics and psychological well being.

Since 1990, TD's Friends of the Environment has supported more than 20,000 eco projects with more than $57 million in funding.

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