Municipality launches new events in honour of Earth Day

(Gazette file photo)

SARAH WILLIAMS

STAFF WRITER

In recognition of Earth Day on April 23, the municipality is hosting three events aimed at boosting public awareness of environmental issues. These events include: Sustainable Planting at Home, the Owen Jones Memorial Clean-Up and Community Trees Seedling Giveaway.

The first in the series of events will take place on April 22nd at 1 p.m. It is an informative talk that will focus on practical methods of planting, what species work best in this area and how different plant species can support the pollinator population.

For this talk, the municipality invites the public to join The County Museums at Macaulay Heritage Park for an expert chat with Ben O’Brien from Wild by Design, Bay Woodyard from Honeypie Hives and Herbals and Albert Paschkowiak, Supervisor of Environmental Services and Sustainability. This event begins at 1 p.m. and is free with no registration required.

service with a smile Local youth team up to clean a section of County Road 22 in 2018. This weekend sees a return of a community clean up in Prince Edward County as well as a seedling sale and info sessions sustainable planting. (Jason Parks/Gazette file photo)

The second, county-wide event in the series will take place all day Saturday, April 23rd. The first annual Owen Jones Memorial Clean-Up Day was proclaimed earlier this year in recognition of a long-time resident of Picton who worked tirelessly through the winter, spring, summer and fall to make sure the streets of his hometown were cleaned. He removed debris from gutters and cleared snow from sidewalks, among other things.

The clean-up is organized by community volunteers who ask that participants register in advance.

Would-be participants can Register online and indicate the area where they would like to pick up litter. Registering helps community organizers ensure the widest coverage and avoid duplication of efforts.

Sign up is also possible by calling Wellington Home Hardware at 613.399.3203.

On April 23, participants can drop off garbage they collect at the following locations:

  • Picton Home Hardware (13544 Loyalist Parkway)
  • Midtown Brewery parking lot (266 Wellington Main Street)
  • 15 Coleman Street (Ameliasburgh)
  • 3076 County Road 10 (behind Milford Town Hall)

There is no charge for dropping off garbage collected as part of the Owen Jones Memorial Clean-up Day.

Participants can pick up bags and gloves at the Wellington Home Hardware (289 Wellington Main Street) and Picton Home Hardware (13544 Loyalist Parkway) starting a week before the Owen Jones Memorial Clean-up Day.

As per the County’s website, Participants are advised to take the following safety precautions when cleaning up in the in community:

  • Wear gloves and sturdy, closed-toed shoes
  • Wear brightly coloured clothes so that vehicles can see you
  • Be conscious of traffic and avoid collecting trash from busy roadways where it is not safe to do so
  • Only collect trash where you are capable. Avoid steep banks or slopes with loose gravel or soil
  • Dress for the weather conditions and be sure to stay hydrated
  • Do not collect medical waste (needles, hazard bags, etc.), hazardous waste (paint, oil, etc.) or carrion (dead animal carcass). Take note of the location (including nearby addresses) of these items and report it to the municipality by calling 613.476.2148 ext. 1023 or emailing info@pecounty.on.ca.

Finally, the tree-seedling giveaway will be held at Delhi Park, on Lalor Street in Picton as well as at the Wellington and District Community Centre at 111 Belleville Street (at the rear of the arena). The event is running from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on April 30th.

The seedling giveaway is in partnership with Quinte Conservation Authority with the aim of helping to improve tree-cover in the County and is part of the new, municipal Adopt-a-Tree Program.

“The Adopt-a-Tree Program engages residents to help water and care for newly planted trees. In many cases, these trees are planted to replace existing hazardous trees that have been removed from right of ways.  It also allows community groups to work with the municipality to plant larger amounts of trees in public spaces,” explained Albert Paschowiak, Environmental Services and Sustainability Supervisor

 Paschowiak noted this is the first tree seedling giveaway that is part of the Adopt-A-Tree Program.

Homeowners who have experienced tree loss due to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) are particularly encouraged to participate.

“The number of Ash trees within Prince Edward County that are affected by the EAB is unknown. However most, if not all Ash trees, are expected to be impacted at some point by this insect,” said Paschowiak.

Apart from EAB, there are multiple other threats to the County’s tree canopy.

“There are a number of other tree related diseases that are affecting trees in the County, such as Dutch Elm Disease, Beech Bark Disease, Verticillium Wilt (maples), and Diplodia Tip Blight (Austrian Pines),” stated Paschowiak. “Damage from improper lawn maintenance is also an issue, especially with immature trees.”

 Species of seedlings to be given away include: White Pine, Red Pine, White Spruce, White Cedar, Red Oak, White Oak, Sugar Maple, and Black Cherry.

“The species were selected based on availability from suppliers and based on the approved list of species included in the Tree Management and Preservation Policy. The mix was also selected to promote a health diversity of trees within the County so as to avoid future mass die offs in localized areas from disease and pests,” Paschowiak informed the Gazette.

Trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of two per household. Individuals who participate are encouraged to let municipal staff know if their trees die so that the success rate of the program can be monitored.

The tree seedling giveaway will also include a brief discussion on naturalization/native plants by Quinte Conservation and a tree planting demonstration to be hosted at approximately 10:30 am at Delhi Park.

Pascowiak added that should interested residents miss the tree seedling sale, they can reach out to Operations to express interest in participating in the Adopt-a-Tree Program.

“Residents are also encouraged to identify new locations on County owned property where news trees could be planted and where the resident could assist with watering and maintenance,” he continued.