Trees of life: N.B. man on a mission educate youth while planting trees at schools across province
A New Brunswick man is on a mission to plant 25 trees in 25 different schools at the province, while educating students of all ages, on how to properly grow these plants and their importance.
Jim Landry is the executive director of Landscape New Brunswick and was at Harbour View High School on Douglas Avenue in Saint John on Friday morning, where he took the classroom and a group of students outdoors for a hands-on lesson.
“I think this is where the learning happens,” says Landry. “This is where you get the opportunity to get some students together as a group and talk. I’ve planted with groups of 10 … I think we had 70 or 80 at a school in Moncton yesterday.”
Landry brought with him two special oak seedlings to plant during his visit to the high school in Saint John, both with a connection to Vimy Ridge – a connection that his family also shares.
“These are trees that came from Vimy Ridge in France 104 years ago, and so I plant them in honour of my uncle,” says Landry. “But also, I try to relate the life of my uncle and his death at Vimy Ridge with everybody’s family – because there’s so much connection back a hundred years ago with that battle.”
Emily Lennon, a teacher at Harbour View high who teaches biology, environmental science and general sciences, says this week they’ve planted a hundred trees on their campus.
The school has already implemented several outdoor initiatives, including a garden, and Lennon hopes to see an arboretum on the property.
“I think the overarching thing is that they’ll hopefully carry that on in their future in terms of their own interests,” says Lennon. “And understand the changes that are happening for future generations.”
For students at the school, it was also a valuable lesson in sustainability and how a small act can make a big difference.
“You dig a hole and put it in and it’s super easy,” says grade 11 student Julia Wiezel. “It’s something everyone can do literally anywhere.”
“It was fun, helping the environment,” adds grade 11 student Hannah Renault. “It’s good to learn about the environment especially for the future too.”
Planting seeds for the future, one tree at a time.