• John Jantak

Volunteers plant new trees in St. Lazare


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois (centre), Mayor Robert Grimaudo (with spade) and two young assistants plant a new tree during St. Lazare’s annual Plantons ensemble tree planting event last Saturday, August 30.

About 50 volunteers of all ages spent a part of their Saturday afternoon on August 29 digging and turning sod to plant new trees in St. Lazare as part of the town’s annual Plantons ensemble tree planting program.

More than 70 young saplings were planted along the bicycle path next to a stretch of Chemin Ste-Angelique between Champêtre and Albert Beauline Streets.

Soulanges provincial MNA Lucie Charlebois, Mayor Robert Grimaudo, all six municipal councilors, employees from the town’s public works department, and several eager resident volunteers spent almost two hours digging sod, filling the holes with young saplings and tamping down the soil with their spades and feet.

For Mayor Robert Grimaudo, Plantons ensemble has become an important annual event that helps to maintain the town’s green canopy amidst continuing urban development which has resulted in trees being clear cut in some areas to make way for new building projects.

“It’s unfortunate, but because we’re a growing community, trees do get cut down which makes it important to replant,” said Grimaudo. “Replanting is the key – it’s the key for the future and it’s the key for making sure our forest and tree canopy remains stable.”

The choice of location for the annual tree planting event is determined according to the needs of a specific area. “We basically pick an area in St. Lazare every year where for one reason or another, the trees had to be removed or maybe there were no trees to start with,” said Grimaudo.

The town is also looking to expand the program by planting more trees in the coming years. “I’m hoping that with council this year, there will be certain monies in the budget to double or even triple the amount of planting that we do. It definitely is of the upmost importance that we increase the number of trees that are planted each year.”

Grimaudo also thanked Charlebois, who is also the Minister of Rehabilitation, Youth Protection and Public Health, for the $1,000 contribution that was made to St. Lazare’s Plantons ensemble through her discretionary funds. Charlebois makes similar contributions to other municipalities in the Soulanges region to help with their tree replanting program which is funded by the provincial Liberal party.

“I’m very impressed by participation of all the people who are here today,” Charlebois told Your Local Journal. “The kids who are here helping are learning about how important the environment is, what planting a tree is all about and how to plant it properly so it survives.”

Charlebois said St. Lazare is just one of several municipalities that have a focus on saving the planet through its annual tree planting initiative, a program that she has been involved with since 2007.

“We want people to know that the environment in Soulanges is very important and we have to do what we can to save it,” said Charlebois. “I came here from Ste. Marthe where we planted several trees this morning and in two weeks, there will three more tree planting events. I do it because it’s important.”

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