Our second Vimy Ridge Commemorative Tree Planting Program (VRCTP) project was scheduled for the Spring of 2017 in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge of World War One, the project was kicked off on April 9, 2017 (the anniversary date) by project partners, volunteers, donors and community members with a groundbreaking ceremony.
As a VRCTP project, this living tribute commemorated The Battle of Vimy Ridge, an important event in Canadian history that has immense significance in the Strathroy community. The Battle of Vimy Ridge was fought on April 9-12, 1917 in the Nord PasdeCalais region of northern France, and was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated together on the battlefield. The battle evokes the memory of many local residents that served gallantly for their country, and points to the leadership and achievement of Strathroy’s most famous native sons, General Sir Arthur William Currie, the Chief-of-Staff of the Canadian Corps, and the man responsible for the successful plan of attack.
The “Vimy Memorial Tree Planting in Strathroy-Caradoc” project was a public-private partnership with T43D as the project lead and the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, which also assisted the municipality in achieving its objectives related to urban forest development. In three to four years, the trees can be tapped to produce maple syrup providing an additional learning opportunity for local students.
In addition to the municipality, this tree planting project was proudly supported by Quinlan Hemeryck Barnett Professional Corporation, Davey Tree Expert Co. of Canada, Limited, RBC Royal Bank Strathroy Branch, Cuddy Farms Limited, Form & Build Supply Inc., Brian and Evelyn Turnbull, Bossons Pharmacy & Home Health Care, Tim Hortons Strathroy, Town & Country Mutual Insurance, Meridian Lightweight Technologies Inc., The Truck Shop Strathroy Ltd., and an anonymous memorial donation.
On April 29, 2017 (Arbor Day), the trees of a “Living Guard of Honour” were planted by local volunteers from the municipality’s city council, Scouts and Guides, Strathroy District Collegiate Institute, and the community members using the National Award Winning Methodology of the Veterans Memorial Parkway Community Program. A key requirement of the project was youth engagement and empowerment to ensure a greater opportunity for student, and community, appreciation of the trees and environment through as our volunteers learn new skills and apply the knowledge they gain through T43D’s Volunteer Urban Foresters Program (VUF). As such, all planters received special recognition with a VUF certificate after the tree planting.
Thanks again to all the volunteers and donors involved in this tree planting project!