By Lisa Boonstoppel-Pot
As the first snowflakes loom in November, a look back to October brings back memories of a Thanksgiving weekend blessed by perfect weather. Families everywhere were taking walks down the street, in the parks, or to the river as did we with horse and dog in tow. Maybe nothing new can be said about the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of walks in nature but every time we go out, there is SOMETHING new to see, talk about and experience. Even if it’s just breathing cleansed air. Via photosynthesis, trees remove carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air and release oxygen. Trees: providing food, shelter and purifying our air for centuries. Definitely something to be thankful for!
Walking my grandson along the streets of Seaforth, I felt a bumpity bump on the wheels of the stroller and realized the sidewalk was strewn with conkers (English term) from a gorgeous Chestnut tree shadowing a homeowners lawn. Shiny and perfect, I picked up dozens of the future-forest baubles and loaded the stroller. Next, new pots were added to a homemade tree nursery and 25 were planted with hopes a few will sprout to grace my yard. I won’t live long enough to be able admire the majesty of one of these trees and there’s a fleeting thought of “why bother”. But my grandson will be able to sit in its shade and that changes everything, doesn’t it.
In her column on page 8, Kate Proctor writes about the value of County Forests with a view of conservation and valuable lumber in mind. New signage (above) promotes awareness of the value of healthy forests. (Photo by Dave Pullen)
Meanwhile, our garden columnist, Rhea Hamilton Seeger, writes about the concept of fast-growing mini-forests which encourage biodiversity and combat the climate crisis. These forests condense the natural cycle of forest recreation to 20 years from 150. Read about that on page 38.
Both stories radiate the value of forests, diversity and the need to keep planting trees. There was concern at the Grey Federation of Agriculture meeting that trees should not be planted on farmland. I hear that ... both farmland and forests are so valuable. Perhaps all the horizontal housing being built should go vertical to quite stealing space from both forests AND farmland.