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Residents Invited to Community Planting Event to Kick Off Tree Canada Reforestation Efforts

(Fort McMurray, AB – May 19, 2017) – Residents are invited to get their hands dirty and help launch reforestation efforts in the region at a community planting on Saturday, May 27. 

The event will begin with a ceremonial tree planting in Helen Pacholko Park before volunteers are invited to help plant seedlings in the forested area along Signal Road that was damaged in the wildfire. 

“The seedlings that have been donated through Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray will be a lasting symbol of the incredible generosity we’ve experienced in response to the wildfire,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “I encourage all residents to join us as we begin an exciting new chapter in our recovery and help to restore the natural beauty of our community.”

Seedlings require space to take root and grow and have to be planted carefully, which means only 200 volunteers will be able to assist with this first planting. 

Volunteers are asked to register in advance at rmwb.ca/communitytreeplanting or by calling the PULSE Line at 780-743-7000. Spaces will be held on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be more opportunities in the future for volunteers to participate in tree plantings across the region. 

  • Date: Saturday, May 27, 2017
  • Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Location: Helen Pacholko Park, 195-201 Signal Road
  • Bring: Shovels and gardening gloves. Food and water will be served.
“We are excited to put the first of thousands of seedlings in the ground with the help of volunteers dedicated to re-greening this community, including representatives from the sponsors who made this planting possible,” said Tree Canada President Mike Rosen. “We hope the community can join us to help kick off Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray, a project we expect will continue for the next two years.”

Reforestation efforts are beginning this spring and will continue into 2019. From May 24, 2017 to June 15, 2017 trees will be planted in Abasand, Saprae Creek, Thickwood and Wood Buffalo in areas where hazardous tree removal was completed.

Areas where planting has occurred will be protected for reclamation and residents are reminded they must not disturb the areas in order to allow seedlings to take root and grow. Residents should avoid walking, cycling, using off-highway vehicles or allowing pets to roam in the reclamation areas.

In some areas, rebuild activity must be completed before seedlings can be planted.

The first planting is scheduled for Saprae Creek on May 24 and is expected to take one week. 

Learn more about reforestation and other re-greening efforts currently under way in the region at rmwb.ca/regreeningprojects.