After multiple days of digging holes under the hot summer sun, the PWA has successfully planted over 2000 trees at the Antionne-Maillet School in Dieppe with the help of students.
The school, which opened its doors in 2008, displaced a large swatch of forest (approximately 65,000 sq meters based on google earth estimates) to make way for the new facilities. As a result, several areas have become easily waterlogged and many remaining trees are susceptible to storm blow over. Planting native trees (including red oak, serviceberry, red maple, sugar maple, white pine, and white spruce trees) helps to preserve biodiversity, stabilizes the soil, bolsters urban forestry, reduces urban temperatures, and increases carbon sequestration. It also symbolizes the school’s commitment to a greener future and gives students an opportunity to take action on climate change right in their shared backyard.
Photo from the Anrionne-Maillet School planting event
In 2021, the federal government of Canada launched its 2Billion Trees program in an attempt to motivate and support new tree-planting projects. The Government pledged that by 2031, up to $3.2 billion would go to provincial, territorial, NGO, and Indigenous tree-planting initiatives.
New Brunswick was historically dominated by mixed-wood Acadian forest. Acadian forest habitat lies at the intersection between the northern boreal forest and the southern deciduous forest which results in a mix of hardwood and softwood tree species. This now endangered forest type supports unique ecological communities. However, after centuries of timber harvesting, forestry management, and land use changes, only about 1% of the original forest habitat is left. While it is impossible to reforest old growth, by planting a diverse mixture of native soft and hardwood tree species, the PWA hopes that these areas will eventually grow into vibrant, diverse habitats. Of course, the forests of the future will look quite different than those from the past; as climate change progresses and the earth warms, habitat conditions will change. Cold-loving species will likely be pushed north.
Forests of the Future by the Fundy Biosphere
As students move on to the next chapters in their lives, they will leave behind a legacy of positive impact through the trees they have planted. We hope that this forest will serve as a standing reminder of the importance of restoring local ecosystems and the hard work and dedication involved in preserving them.
Since this project occurred on school grounds, to enter our #25WatershedMoments giveaway, take a picture of your favorite tree, tag us, and use #25WatershedMoments