Group aims to plant 38,000 trees in Thousand Islands National Park by 2031

Crew members have been ‘digging in’ at Hill Island almost every day setting up fencing and planting trees. – Submitted photo

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to address climate change and protect biodiversity, Parks Canada will be planting 38,000 trees in the Thousand Islands National Park (TINP) by 2031, approximately 18,000 of which will be planted on Hill Island to restore a former quarry pit.

In alignment with this mission, the Thousand Islands National Park has created The Mending Ground Tree Planting Project. 

In their recent Facebook post, the TINP stated they will be planting 4,000 trees this fall as part of the Government of Canada’s 2 Billion Trees initiative.

“One of the goals of this project is to increase the population of pitch pine, an emblematic species in Thousand Islands National Park,” the post explained. “Numerous other tree species that thrive in dry, sandy environments and are likely to adapt to future climate conditions, will also be planted.”  

Resource Management Officer Mary Beth Lynch spoke to Brockvilleist about the project and shared that she and multiple other crew members have been ‘digging in’ at Hill Island almost every day setting up fencing and planting trees. 

Although they have already planted 1,000 trees on Hill Island, the Mending Ground crew’s priority in the preceding months has been fencing in 4.5 hectares of property within the quarry. The fencing is an important step in the process of protecting the trees from grazing deer but still allowing for the movement of wildlife and people throughout the area. The crew has been working steadily on implementing fencing since the summer and will continue their work planting trees until mid-November. They have already welcomed several school and volunteer groups who have come out to help. 

As the project progresses every day, Lynch shared that she is truly enjoying seeing the project come to life.

“Every day just to see some more green and some more life in the quarry is pretty exciting.”

She explained that ideally this project would continue for several years and could potentially expand to other park properties, depending on funding. The Mending Ground team was also able to extend the seasonal contracts of multiple park workers to join in tree planting throughout the fall. 

According to Haley Lang, public relations and communication officer for Parks Canada, Parks Canada is inviting community groups, volunteers and media personnel to partake in the planting to help share the initiative. If interested in participating,  individuals can reach out to pnmille-iles-thousandislandsnp@pc.gc.ca for more information and guidance on becoming involved in this program.

Lynch wants to remind folks that the TINP team will be planting trees again in the spring of 2024 throughout April and May.

You can also follow the Thousand Islands National Park on Facebook or visit their website for updates on this initiative and future projects.

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