Sponsored by TD Tree Days
Located on a hill looking east across the Fraser River, Glenbrook Ravine is tucked back between houses and apartment buildings, where down a garden path the noise of the city is replaced by the rustling of leaves in the wind. On Saturday, October 5th, children’s’ laughter was added to the landscape as 75 volunteers, and 30 local Cub Scouts and Girl Guides, planted 450 trees in the New Westminster park ecosystem for TD Tree Days.
TD Tree Days at Glenbrook Ravine
“This is my fourth event,” said Tracy Keckalo who is the Branch Manager of the TD Canada Trust Sapperton branch. She was at the registration tent where volunteers who signed up online checked-inreceived t-shirts and were given instructions for tree planting. Tracy has been a volunteer previously, with TD and with the Girl Guides, and this year she took over as the organizer of the Glenbrook Ravine event.
“It’s about engaging with the community but like, who knew this park was here? I work down the street and I didn’t know. What a beautiful ravine!” Tracy said that it’s important to have places like this in the city, and for volunteering, this event is great for families because you can bring your kids and do this activity together in nature.
What Kind of Trees Are Planted?
To ensure that the right tree is properly planted in the right place, over 90 local community organizations, including conservation authorities, municipalities and Indigenous communities support TD Tree Days across the country.
Representatives from the City of New Westminster were on hand that morning to ensure the correct placement of trees. I got to talk to Sylvain Martel, Senior Arborist for the City to find out what was being added to the ravine.
“The Douglas Fir, a forest giant, are late successional trees that grow tall and old, as well as the Garry Oak which is native to Vancouver Island but has migrated to the coast with the change in climate.”
We walked between planting sites on the slopes of the ravine as he collected some buckets. Each bucket represented a tree that had found its place in the park.
“Then we have Big Leaf Maple, and some Bitter Cherry which make good shade and provides a habitat for the bigger trees to grow. We also have a selection of shrubs like Snowberry, Thimbleberry, and more.”
Whether you could drag a rake, lift a bucket, scatter mulch, or dig a hole, young and old were fully involved. I watched as one mother and her daughter went down a ridge and planted five trees just the two of them, from a Big Leaf Maple to shrubs.
“This is a barren land, it’s been invaded by blackberries which prevent any biodiversity from existing,’ Sylvain added as volunteers behind us cracked into the ground and broke up some invasive roots. “We thought this place needed some TLC, which is what were giving it today!”
The crews work hard and after just about 90 minutes the transformation was remarkable, and there was still more time to spare.
The thing about greening our public spaces is that you can come back year after year and see your legacy in your community. New Westminster now has another beautiful place to do that, at Glenbook Ravine.
Since 2010, the TD Tree Days program has planted close to 390,000 native trees and shrubs to enhance green spaces across the country while bringing people together to help build healthy and vibrant communities.
Throughout September and October, volunteers will help plant 38,000 trees at over 100 sites across Canada. If you are interested in learning more about this program and their goal of planting 1 million trees by 2030 you can find the next TD Tree Days planting event in your community by going online. Sign up as a volunteer and the local site leader will be in touch with details.