Chilliwack celebrated National Forest Week by planting thousands of trees on Mt. Thom as part of a City of Chilliwack tree-planting project.
National Forest Week was Sept. 19 to 25 and several volunteers and workers helped plant 22,000 climate-resilient trees on the west slopes of Mt. Thom as part of Phase 2 of the Growing Climate Resilient Forests for Chilliwack project.
“The theme of National Forest Week this year was ‘Our forests – continually giving’, and this project was a great fit, as future generations will be able to experience a healthy, natural forest setting in the park while we adapt to a changing climate,” said Mayor Ken Popove.
The city partnered with Shakti Reforestation Ltd. for the Growing Climate Resilient Forests for Chilliwack project. Phase 1 in April saw 2,000 seedlings planted.
Many volunteers from the community helped with Phase 2, including folks from the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, PickEco Refills, Grade 11 students from Unity Christian School, three crews from Pacific Pathways, and supportive hikers passing by that wanted to lend a helping hand hauling boxes of seedlings up to planting sites.
“The species of trees that were planted in the park this year were chosen based on their expected ability to grow in our future climate,” Popove said.
The seedling that are being planted can adjust to the changing climate. Some of the species in Phase 2 include white spruce, lodgepole pine, and Garry Oak.
A total of 24,000 tree have been planted so far. Phase 3 is scheduled for the spring of 2022 and by the end of the project, a total of 80,000 trees will have been planted.
The overall project will provide a continual forest canopy on Mt. Thom as current birch trees decline, ensuring the species that call Mt. Thom home will have appropriate habitat in the future. To learn more, go to chilliwack.com/urbanforests.