• John Jantak

Volunteers wanted to plant fruit trees and shrubs


Mayor Robert Grimaudo is inviting all St. Lazare residents to participate in the ninth annual edition of Plantons ensemble, a community tree planting event that will take place rain or shine at the Community Centre, 1301 Rue du Bois, at 10 a.m. this Sunday, June 9.

Plantons ensemble is an initiative that was started in 2010 by Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois, Minister Responsible for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living, and Minister responsible for the Montérégie area. More than 300 trees have been planted throughout St. Lazare in the past eight years.

Annual event

“It has become an annual event in St. Lazare thanks to Madame Charlebois’ riding office that provides us money from her discretionary fund. We take that money, match the amount and buy trees for planting each year,” Grimaudo told The Journal.

This year’s event will have a healthier overtone – 27 fruit trees and 58 fruit-bearing shrubs will be planted, said Rachel Gauthier, the town’s event coordinator. There will be a variety of apple, pear and plum trees and the shrubs will feature raspberries, red currants and gooseberries.

“It’s all part of a provincial program called Lifestyles and Behaviours – living well, eating well and adopting a healthy lifestyle,” said Grimaudo.

Community centre parking lot

The trees and shrubs will be planted around the community centre parking lot. Residents will be able to pick the fruit as the trees and shrubs mature. “It’s a public spot. It there are fruit on the trees and someone wants to pick them, they’re welcome to do so”, said Grimaudo.

St. Lazare is noted for its green initiatives and commitment to maintain its trees as much as possible. “We’re definitely tree friendly. Development is such that when we open roads, we’re cutting trees. So the more we plant, the better,” said Grimaudo.

Green canopy renewal

Plantons ensemble comes just over three weeks after the town celebrated Arbour Day on May 18. Residents flocked to the farmers’ market to pick up one the 650 small trees the town was giving away courtesy of the provincial Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. Each resident also received a free strawberry plant from the town.

“Now we’ll be planting a bunch of new trees and shrubs for Plantons ensemble,” said Grimaudo. “The trick is to set the example for the residents of St. Lazare and to stress the importance of renewing our green canopy any way we can.”