Gateway Gazette

Memorial Tree Ceremony to be Held in George Lane Park on Sept. 26

HIGH RIVER, AB: The Town of High River is hosting the 9th Annual Memorial Tree Ceremony in George Lane Park on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. to recognize donors that purchased trees and benches over the past year.

“The event will also celebrate National Tree Day,” says Darlene Donovan, urban forester with the Town. “It’s a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the great benefits that trees provide us – clean air, wildlife habitat, reducing energy demand and connecting with nature.”

The ceremony recognizes that participants who purchased trees have contributed to the benefit of the environment and have helped to expand the Town’s urban forest.

“The memorial tree and bench program is also a great way to celebrate a milestone or special moment by creating a lasting legacy in one of High River’s parks,” says Donovan.

Donovan adds that these trees and benches are commonly purchased in memoriam of a relative or loved one that has passed away, but can also be a memento to commemorate an achievement like a graduation, or given as a birthday, wedding or anniversary gift.

“Sometimes people prefer this over a material gift and the program provides that option while also creating more opportunities for the public to enjoy our parks and pathways,” says Donovan.

The ceremony is open to the public and will include information about donor plaques purchased and the locations of new trees and benches added to the park and other High River locations in 2018.

The memorial tree program offers a variety of evergreen and deciduous trees that can be purchased each year including Siberian Larch, Ponderosa Pine, Colorado Spruce, Northwestern Poplar, Bur Oak, American Elm and Ohio Buckeye.

Participants can provide their preference on which park — either George Lane Park or Riverside Park – that the tree is planted in. Memorial trees cost $500 per tree and includes planting, plaque and maintenance.

The Town also offers a memorial bench program where participants can purchase a commemorative bench and request a park location. The $1,200 purchase price includes the six-foot bench and plaque.

For more information, or to purchase a memorial tree or bench, please call 403-603-3503. To ensure trees are ready to be planted each spring, orders must be received by January 1 each year.

To learn more about National Tree Day, visit treecanada.ca/engagement-research/national-tree-day/

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