WIIKWEMKOONG—Enaadmaagehjik (Wikwemikong Development Commission) held a community tree-planting event on Thursday, August 30 in which 74 different fruit trees, hardy to zone 3 and 4, including apple, pear, cherry and plum were planted at the Old Mitchell Farm in Manitowaning.

Enaadmagehjik was successful in its application to Trees Canada to develop a community training fruit orchard allowing community members to develop skills while also supporting local food sharing initiatives.

According to Marc Hébert, professor/coordinator in the School of Trades and Applied Technologies at Collège Boréal in Sudbury and Trees Canada representative at the tree-planting event, “Trees Canada is the leading tree-planting charity in Canada, dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians by planting and nurturing trees.” In an address to the staff and volunteers at the event, Mr. Hébert said that the charity has assisted with planting “more than 80 million trees, greened more than 600 schoolyards, helped restore places hit by natural disasters and brought together urban forestry experts greening cities all across Canada.”

Mr. Hébert heralded the training fruit orchard as one of the initiatives that Trees Canada is proud to support because of its goal of not only providing green space for the community but also for its skills enhancement and training objectives.

Work proceeds swiftly on the planting of a fruit tree orchard on a Manitowaning property owned by the Wiikwemkoong Unceded

Lead organizers of the event, Christianna Jones, apprenticeship officer, and Jocelyn Bebamikawe, employment and training officer, both expressed gratitude to Trees Canada as well as the other event sponsors; Greenhouse for Change construction trainee students; and all staff and volunteers involved in the tree-planting event which they describe as being a key component in helping to “move our food security initiatives forward.”

Ten trees, which are to be part of the high school greenhouse project, will also be planted at the high school at a future date.