The traditional ‘turning of the sod’ to open the garden area alongside the Solar Aquatics Water Reclamation Centre in Barriere took place last Friday under a cloudy sky and a few raindrops.
Attending the opening of the newly planted gardens between the Yellowhead Pioneer Residence and the Solar Aquatic Wastewater facility were a number of dignitaries who came to congratulate the community on the occasion.
District of Barriere Mayor Virginia Smith noted the plants in the garden are all indigenous to the area, and that the gardens are also linked to the community trail system.
“We plan to enhance the garden with a tree house and other structures, and hope to have the elementary school students help us with the project,” said Smith. “When it is finished the garden will be a lovely place to stop, or come in and sit for awhile when you are passing by.”
She explained that grants from CN and Tree Canada helped to construct the garden.
Tree Canada representative Christian Walli, R.P.F addressed the crowd saying, “Trees and health go together. You should all be super proud of this project. Somebody had a great idea and everyone is here to support it. It is quite a challenge to run something like this. Congratulations to everyone.”
A grant from CN contributed greatly to the building of the gardens. CN Aboriginal Affairs representative Brent Ballingall spoke to the crowd, saying that there were a number of CN officers and employees present along with their spouses.
“It’s my pleasure to be here on behalf of CN to celebrate the inauguration of the Barriere Community Infrastructure Greening Project,” said Ballingall, “CN is proud to be part of this great project, and to have contributed $25,000 to help make it happen. This grant was made under CN’s EcoConnexions – From the Ground Up Project.
“We launched From the Ground Up in 2012 as part of our continuing focus on environmental sustainability, a priority for our company – and to help the communities in which we operate develop their own sustainability projects to enhance the community’s environmental and social health and well being.
“CN’s From the Ground Up program is a demonstration of the social, environmental and economic benefits that can be brought to green spaces – making Canadian communities a better place to live in, work in, and visit.
“Last year, we provided grants to 30 communities across Canada to support them in their environmental endeavour to create sustainable, community-initiated green spaces. This year, we provided grants to another 31 communities, including five in B.C. At CN, we believe that our long-term success is connected to our contributions to a sustainable future. We are making our contributions to that future through initiatives like From the Ground Up and mass reforestations programs in Canada and the US to offset the trees we use to replace rail ties across our network, ensuring we operate safely and reliably.
“I’d like to thank the District of Barriere for submitting and putting together this great project. I also want to thank CN’s partners in this program, Tree Canada and Communities in Bloom – we couldn’t run the EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program without them.”
About Trees Canada: Trees Canada has for 25 years engaged communities, governments, corporations, and individuals in the pursuit of a greener and healthier living environment for Canadians. Under the direction of their volunteer board of directors, Tree Canada provides Canadians with education, technical expertise, and resources to plant and care for urban and rural trees. They have planted over 80 million trees and greened more than 550 schoolyards across the country.