Planting for the future

“We’re growing or creating a buffer to help protect Backus.”The forest will also help wildlife.“When we think of wildlife and movement, we think in terms of corridors – areas that enable them to move,” Vasseur said. “So in addition to building a buffer we’re also creating a place for animals to live and move from one place to another.”The NCC is Canada’s leading national land conservation organization. It is a private, non-profit organization that partners with individuals, corporations and other non-profit organizations and governments to protect natural areas and wildlife.The NCC has helped conserve more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres) of ecologically significant land across Canada since 1962.Speaking about the tree planting in Norfolk on Saturday, Vasseur said the area will look like a young forest in about 50 years. It will look like a mature forest in about 100 years.The weekend tree planting is a good example of the partnerships the NCC develops with groups to conserve land. The NCC provided the leadership, expertise and did some tree planting. It was local Scout groups and the Lions Club that brought the volunteers to the site to plant trees.“We’ve done this for three years now,” Paul DeCloet, of the Tillsonburg Lions Club and the Lions Club district A2 environmental chair, said. “We have Lions Club members from across the region here today and each club raises money to purchase the trees.”The trees are purchased from the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.Although the temperatures were a frosty 3 C with a lot of wind on Saturday, DeCloet wasn’t complaining and neither was anyone else.“This is a wonderful day,” DeCloet said. “I get to see Lions Club members and Scouts working together for the future.“One day people from around the world will look at what we’re doing and say we set an example for the rest of the world to follow.”The tree planting was one of two events held by the conservancy in conjunction with Earth Day. On April 20, volunteers participated in a roadside cleanup along Highway 24 and East Quarter Line road near the Backus [email protected] It takes a lot of time, patience, trees and hands to grow a forest.Fortunately, there was plenty of all four on display at a 25.5 hectare (63-acre) swath of land just north of the Backus Heritage Conservation Area on Saturday.“When we’re doing a project like this we at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) don’t think in terms of having it done overnight, next week, month or even a few years from now,” Julie Vasseur, of the NCC, said. “We think in terms of perpetuity because our projects take a lot of time and patience.“Our projects go on and on.”Vasseur was one of a large number of people – members of area Lions Clubs and scouting groups – who were busy planting trees that will one day be a forest. Right now, the property consists of several sand dunes, a couple of ponds and large flat areas.But now, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers,  the area is dotted with saplings.The tree planting is an important project for a lot of reasons, Vasseur said.“We have a lot of environmentally sensitive areas in Norfolk – areas like Backus and the St. Williams Forestry Centre,” Vasseur said. “We want to do everything we can to protect those areas and the way to do that is create buffers and that’s what we’re doing here. jpg, SR Julie Vasseur of the Nature Conservancy of Canada helps plant trees in a former farm field beside Backus Woods near Port Rowan on Saturday. Vincent Ball/Postmedia News Laura Vaughan of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, is joined by volunteers, Rachel Radauskas, Michelle Radauskas, Ken Suthons, Carol Suthons and Michelle Burrows at a tree planting near Backus Woods in the Port Rowan area on Saturday. Vincent Ball/Postmedia News jpg, SR

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